Politics

‘Are You Kidding Me?’: McConnell Rips Democrats On Senate Floor For Failing To Reach Deal On Coronavirus Package

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats on Monday for failing to come to a deal with Republicans regarding a phase-three coronavirus stimulus bill.

“Tax credits for solar energy and wind energy. Provisions to force employers to give special new treatment to Big Labor. And listen to this — new emissions standards for the airlines. Are you kidding me?,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The Senate voted Sunday night on the legislation. The vote was 47-47. McConnell said Sunday that the bill would include $75 billion for hospitals and that two-thirds of all new money in the bill would go to states, however, this vote will likely end consideration of this bill. McConnell also said, “it’s just about time to take yes for an answer.” Democrats have said the coronavirus bill lacks new SNAP funds and were reportedly pushing for expanded emergency leave provisions and more than three months of unemployment insurance.

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Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, who has been negotiating with members of Congress on behalf of the White House, was spotted entering Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, 20 minutes away from Sunday’s cloture vote.

McConnell voted no, which was not planned. He voted with the Democrats so he would have the option of recalling the vote, as Senate rules state. (RELATED: Senate Fails To Pass Cloture Vote On Coronavirus Stimulus Bill)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she will halt negotiations with the Senate and move to pass her own coronavirus package in the House, which could drag things out longer than many expected. Pelosi’s legislation will be a $1.6 trillion emergency package, according to Politico. (RELATED: Speaker Pelosi Moves Forward With Her Own Coronavirus Package, Despite Current Senate Negotiations)

The text for a phase-three Senate bill announced Friday would give $1,200 checks to every person, while couples would receive $2,400. That $1,200 check will go to Americans making less than $75,000 annually. Each child will receive $500. The amount is reduced by $5 for every $100 a person earns over $75,000. Those making above $99,000 would not get any money.

The GOP’s bill also includes specific provisions for disabled veterans, low-income seniors, and individuals with no income tax liability with at least $2,500 in qualifying income, according to the Senate Finance Committee. There will also be a much smaller benefit of $600 for millions without federal tax liability.

The Senate will now vote again on the legislation Monday afternoon.