Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he believes Congress will be able to pass a stimulus package at the start of 2021, which differs from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said that she wants a deal sooner than that.
“We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion Nancy Pelosi package. I think that’ll be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year,” McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday.
“We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” he added.
On Thursday, Pelosi said she expects to reach an agreement with the Trump administration in the lame-duck session of Congress following the Nov. 3 election.
“I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration,” Pelosi said, suggesting Democratic nominee Joe Biden would win.
It came after Pelosi sent Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin a letter that faulted Republicans for the failed talks. President Donald Trump last week said that it is Pelosi who is holding up the negotiations, arguing that a stimulus package would be beneficial to his reelection prospects.
Mnuchin shot back that Pelosi’s letter was a “political stunt” for the media’s benefit. He said in a response letter that Pelosi’s “ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working families NOW” by holding up more narrowly targeted legislation that could pass with little controversy.
“I would rather do it now, but Nancy Pelosi does not want to do it,” Trump also said on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Republicans, who say Pelosi has been unyielding in the talks, will control the White House and the Senate until January regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election, and have pressed for a more targeted aid package that ignores key Pelosi demands.
They say items like refundable tax credits for the working poor and families with children are not directly related to fighting the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and charge that Pelosi has slow-walked the negotiations to deny Trump a victory in the run-up to Election Day.
The winner of the Nov. 3 presidential elections will be sworn in as the next president on Jan. 20, 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.