Mitch McConnell says an economic stimulus package is 'unlikely in the next 3 weeks' as the White House renews its push for aid
The Democrats voted against a coronavirus stimulation bill tabled this week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Tom Williams / CQ Appeal, Inc via Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a coronavirus aid package was "unlikely" in the next three weeks ahead of the election.
"We need another bailout. But the proximity to the elections and the disagreement over what is needed at this point in time are pretty big," he said at an event in Kentucky.
Any deal between the White House and the Democrats faces an uphill battle for Senate support for the GOP.
Many Republican senators have voiced concern about the growing budget deficit of $ 3.1 trillion.
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Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that a stimulus package was unlikely to be passed in the weeks leading up to the elections.
"I think the darkness is a result of proximity to the elections and everyone is trying to bow to political gain," he said during a campaign rally in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. "I would love to see how we rise above it ... but I think that's unlikely in the next three weeks."
But McConnell said another federal aid law was needed.
"We still need a rescue package," he said. "But the proximity to the elections and the disagreement over what is needed at this particular point in time are pretty big."
The remarks reflect the difficulty faced with a business cycle agreement between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations on a bill on Tuesday and appeared to resume just two days later. He called for another round of stimulus checks and help for airlines and small businesses on Thursday.
Trump called on Friday to "make it big" in another coronavirus aid package.
"Covid Relief Negotiations are advancing," he wrote in a tweet. "Go Big!"
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The Washington Post reported that the White House was preparing a $ 1.8 trillion stimulus offer for Democrats. Still, many GOP senators are unlikely to support this as they have concerns about the growing budget deficit.
"Mnuchin can negotiate a deal with Democrats. But until Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans opt out, it doesn't matter," Brian Riedl, an economist at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, recently told Business Insider.
The Congressional Budget Office reported that the government's spending and revenue gap was $ 3.1 trillion for fiscal 2020, three times the size of the previous year.
However, many economists are calling on Congress to approve more federal spending to fight the pandemic and prop up the economy as unemployment remains high and permanent layoffs rise.
Republicans and Democrats haven't endorsed any further federal incentives since they donated nearly $ 4 trillion in relief supplies, the bulk of the CARES bill in March. Since then, both parties have been very divided on issues such as spending and unemployment benefits.
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