McConnell on Wednesday, November 4, said during a Kentucky news conference that the Senate will prioritize passing relief legislation next week when the chamber reconvenes, according to CNBC. The Senate majority leader won his reelection bid on Tuesday, November 3, for a seventh six-year Senate term, the outlet continued.
McConnell noted that state and local funding, a top Democratic priority, could be incorporated into the new bill, CNBC said.
“As I’ve said repeatedly in the last few months, we need another rescue package,” McConnell expressed. “Hopefully, the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election. And I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.”
“I think that’s job one when we get back,” he added. “Hopefully we get a more cooperative situation than we’ve had.”
CNBC reported that McConnell’s “comments could rekindle relief talks” that have been stalled for months over the total cost of the next stimulus package.
Negotiators have remained divided over the same sticking points for weeks, including Democrats’ calls for substantial state and local government funding and Republicans’ desires for employer liability shields, according to the Chicago Tribune.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been discussing a package in the range of $1.8 trillion to $2.2 trillion, including extended unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus checks, The Washington Post added.
McConnell warned before the election that a package in that price range would not garner support in the Senate, claiming he would not be able to sell it to his members, CNN said.
“The Speaker laid out a $2.5 trillion package with all kinds of things that I felt were simply unrelated to the subject,” McConnell said Wednesday, CNBC continued. “I laid on the Senate floor not once, but twice, half a trillion dollars … targeting the school situation, the need to replenish PPP small loan program.”
Here’s what you need to know:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Blamed the White House for Failing to Deliver Its ‘Promise’ on Testing Language
Pelosi blamed President Donald Trump’s administration for holding up coronavirus stimulus negotiations by failing to uphold its “promise” to include Democrats’ “language to crush the virus” in the legislation.
“Two weeks later, the White House still has not lived up to Secretary Mnuchin’s promise to accept Democrats’ language to crush the virus,” her spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted on October 29. “We still are waiting for meaningful responses in the areas the Speaker outlined.”
Negotiations between Pelosi and Mnuchin took a turn earlier that week when Mnuchin accused Pelosi of playing political games. The Treasury secretary released a public response to a letter from the House speaker, in which he claimed she did not fairly portray the administration’s position on the status of the stimulus talks.
Pelosi’s letter cited a list of differences that remained unresolved during their race to strike a deal pre-election, including a national testing strategy, state and local government funding, extended unemployment benefits and others.
Trump Promised the ‘Best Stimulus Package You’ve Ever Seen’ Post-Election
On October 27, Trump told reporters at the White House that he promised to deliver the “best package you have ever seen” following the election.
The president also took the opportunity to flip the script on Pelosi, blaming the House speaker for stalling negotiations over “bailouts” for Democratic jurisdictions.
“Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly run, crime-ridden Democrat cities and states. That’s all she is interested in,” the president said. “She is not interested in helping the people.”
The Chicago Tribune cautioned that holding off on stimulus legislation until after the November election “raises the risk that the Trump administration will be less inclined or able to push a package through the GOP Senate.”
The risk for inaction would double if Trump lost his bid to Democratic hopeful Joe Biden and Republicans lost their Senate majority, the Chicago Tribune continued. Decision Desk HQ named Biden as the projected winner on Friday morning, November 6. By afternoon the same day, Senate election results showed Democrats picking up one seat and Republicans losing one, with 48 wins each and more than a dozen races yet to be called.
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut echoed the concern about passing a stimulus bill to Yahoo Finance on October 22. Murphy expressed concern that Republican lawmakers may not be “motivated to support a bill during a lame-duck session,” the outlet reported.