Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced a $3 trillion fourth coronavirus relief package Tuesday, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is in no hurry to see it come to the floor of the Senate.
Speaking to reporters late Monday, McConnell says he feels no pressure to negotiate with Democrats on the HEROES Act, which contains everything from a student loan bailout to a $375 billion relief package for states and cities with existing debt problems, as the Daily Wire reported Tuesday. The bill also contains a $25 billion bailout for the United States Postal Service, $175 billion in payouts to healthcare providers, and millions to purchase laptops and other items for House Members who need them to vote remotely.
The bill also provides an additional three months of $1,200 stimulus checks for most taxpayers.
Republicans, McConnell said, are still “assessing what we’ve done already,” and will wait to see what impact the CARES Act and other coronavirus spending bills have on the existing economic situation before deciding what further relief might be necessary, Politico reports.
“I’m in constant communication with the White House and if we decide to go forward we’ll go forward together,” McConnell added. “We have not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. That time could develop, but I don’t think it has yet.”
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) called the HEROES Act “more like a messaging document than anything else.”
Indeed, Pelosi put out the call to Democratic leadership last week to submit a “laundry list” of desired items for inclusion in the Act, which topped out, today, at more than 1,800 pages. Democrats themselves admitted last week that the bill reads more like a “wish list” than anything else, and is a starting point for negotiations, not a final product.
But in order for Democrats to neogtiate, Republicans must come to the bargaining table, and McConnell is in no hurry, Politico says, to take his seat. The Senate Majority leader “has offered Republican senators no timeline on the next bill.”
In fact, McConnell has said that he’s not open to considering any more massive spending bills until he knows the true state of the American economy, which is suffering considerably as a result of coronavirus-related lockdowns. He’s also expressed significant opposition to extending handouts to state and municipalities, suggesting that any state looking for a bailout should consider Chapter 9 bankruptcy rather than relying on the American taxpayers.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) launched his first attack on the opposition in his own briefing Tuesday, claiming that Democrats are “moving really fast and big and bold. And Leader McConnell hasn’t done anything. The American people will be very much behind the kind of big, bold solution that the House is proposing.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.