Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion stimulus plan on Wednesday, describing it as “outlandish.”
“We’re very, very far apart on a deal,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Senate Republicans have balked at previous Democratic spending proposals and didn’t put their own $1 trillion plan to a vote in August.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday tore into House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion stimulus plan, describing it as “outlandish” and saying the amount is “too high.””We’re very, very far apart on a deal,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.The Kentucky senator earlier in the day had assailed the Democratic proposal, saying it was not a serious attempt to bring Senate Republicans back to the negotiating table.”The latest bill from the speaker is no more serious than any of their political stunts going back months,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, adding, “If they continue to refuse to get serious, then American families will continue to hurt.”
Pressure has mounted on lawmakers to strike a deal before they adjourn next week until after the election. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met for 90 minutes on Wednesday to discuss a compromise on a coronavirus relief package.Read more: Stimulus talks resume as dealmakers work toward another round of checks. Here’s everything you need to know about the rescue package.Pelosi said in a statement after the meeting that while some areas needed “further clarification,” talks would continue, even as House Democrats set the stage for a vote on their spending package on Wednesday evening.”We will be proceeding with our vote tonight on the updated Heroes Act in order to formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mnuchin expressed optimism and told reporters there had been “a lot of progress over the last few days,” per Capitol Hill pool reports.”We still don’t have an agreement, but we have more work to do,” he said. “And we’re going to see where we end up.”Earlier in the day, Mnuchin characterized the counteroffer as a $1.5 trillion relief plan comparable to one put forward by a bipartisan group of lawmakers earlier this month.House Democrats on Monday unveiled their plan, a slimmer version of a $3.4 trillion spending package they approved in May. Measures include restoring the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit until January, sending another round of $1,200 direct payments to taxpayers, and providing additional federal aid to states and small businesses.
Senate Republicans rolled out a $1 trillion stimulus plan in late July, but it failed to draw significant support among GOP senators, many of whom opposed government spending that would add to the federal debt. Another $650 billion GOP proposal was blocked by Democrats, who dismissed it as inadequate.Both parties remain apart on numerous issues, including federal unemployment benefits, state aid, liability protections for businesses, and overall spending levels.
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