House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has spent months quarreling with Republicans on Capitol Hill over the details of a second COVID-19 relief bill.
As Fox News reported, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to have steamrolled his counterpart, announcing this week that Senate Republicans are working on a targeted relief bill that would satisfy President Donald Trump.
“Don’t have time to waste time”
According to Fox, McConnell’s news comes in the wake of a $908 billion proposal assembled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. But the measure appears to have been put on the back burner in light of the majority leader’s announcement.
“We just don’t have time to waste time,” the majority leader said, brushing off the bipartisan attempt at pandemic relief.
McConnell went on to acknowledge that his efforts will need bipartisan support, but stressed that he is confident a resulting bill would be signed into law by the president.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly delivered the exact requirements that would be needed to please Trump. That plan includes a bill roughly in the $500 billion range.
According to McConnell, he provided those instructions to his colleagues, who used them as the blueprint for his forthcoming proposal.
No second round of stimulus
Each of the prior bills included a price tag closer to $1 trillion, including provisions many Republicans felt amounted to a progressive wish list for Pelosi and others in her party.
The details of McConnell’s scaled-down proposal are not fully known, but reports indicate that a $300 billion expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program is likely to be available to struggling employers and out-of-work Americans are expected to be able to extend unemployment benefits for two months.
Meanwhile, schools across the country are likely to receive more than $100 billion in funding if the bill passes, allowing districts to obtain the resources needed for a safe resumption of in-person learning.
The bill does not include another round of stimulus checks or any type of protection against eviction for renters, meaning McConnell is sure to receive plenty of pushback from the other side of the aisle.
In any case, according to CNBC, the proposed relief bill could be included in the same package as an upcoming spending bill with a Dec. 11 deadline to avoid a federal government shutdown.