During a press conference after he won reelection, McConnell said he is optimistic that pandemic stimulus negotiators could reach a deal after the election.
“We need another rescue package,” the Kentucky Republican said. “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.”
McConnell didn’t mention any details about the bill and said that “it’s a possibility we will do more for state and local governments,” a reversal of what Republicans said earlier in the year after House Democrats passed their HEROES Act. The initial $3.3 trillion bill sought nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments, but it was rejected outright by the GOP-controlled Senate. McConnell said the Democrat-passed bill was a “socialist manifesto.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made an offer of more than $1.8 trillion for a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief measure that included stimulus checks to tens of millions of Americans, small business loans, and airline aid.
McConnell noted that both parties need to negotiate a deal to offset economic suffering.
“But I don’t get to make the final decision: we have to deal with the Democrats. And what I’m saying is, I think now that the election’s over the need is there and we need to sit down and work this out. And state and local could end up being a part of it,” he told reporters. “I’d like to see it done a little more skillfully than simply providing borrowed money for everyone regardless of their need.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), who won reelection this week, said more aid is needed.
“More federal #COVID-19 relief provisions set to expire on December 31st,” she said, adding that lawmakers “should not and cannot wait until next Congress to pass additional relief.” She added that she voiced her concerns to the White House and Democratic leaders in the House.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blamed Mnuchin, President Donald Trump, and Republicans for the failed negotiations.
“As the coronavirus surges and the stock market plummets, we are still awaiting the Trump Administration’s promised responses on multiple items of critical importance,” Pelosi said. “Your responses are critical for our negotiations to continue.”