Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he thinks it’s unlikely Congress will “rise above” and pass any kind of coronavirus stimulus legislation before the Nov. 3 election.
Congressional leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-run House of Representatives both say another stimulus package is needed as Americans grapple with the health and economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic, but they’ve failed to reach a compromise.
The latest idea has been for Congress to pass less expansive, more targeted legislation that would send billions in funds to the struggling airline industry and provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans.
But McConnell expressed doubt that Congress will be able to agree to anything like that, at least not until the election is over.
“I just think the situation’s kind of murky, and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage,” he said. “I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives to meet with reporters following a Republican strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Republican efforts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are likely to move swiftly this week, with President Donald Trump possibly nominating a replacement within days and GOP senators hoping to jump-start the confirmation process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
McConnell addressed the troubled negotiations during a stop Friday morning at Bullitt County EMS in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, where he took a little time to thank the first responders there for their service during the pandemic and to highlight the roughly $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act he helped guide through Congress in March.
McConnell also dismissed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that President Donald Trump is unfit to serve and her plan to discuss the possibility of taking congressional action concerning the 25th Amendment, which deals with the transfer of power from the president to another official.
“That’s absurd. Absolutely absurd,” he said. “Right here in this last three weeks before the election, I think those kinds of wild comments should be largely discounted.”
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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: COVID stimulus update: McConnell says deal unlikely before election