- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday tore open the House Democrats’ $ 2.2 trillion stimulus plan and labeled it “defaulted.”
- “We’re very, very far apart on a deal,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.
- Senate Republicans defied earlier Democratic spending proposals and failed to put their own $ 1 trillion plan to the vote in August.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday tackled the House Democrats’ $ 2.2 trillion stimulus plan, calling it “failed”
“We’re very, very far apart on a deal,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The Kentucky Senator had attacked the Democratic proposal earlier in the day, saying it was not a serious attempt to get Senate Republicans back to the negotiating table.
“The speaker’s latest bill is no more serious than any of their political stunts in months,” said McConnell in the Senate, adding, “If they continue to refuse to get serious, American families will continue to be hurt.”
Pressure has increased on lawmakers to close a deal before they adjourn until after the elections next week. Millions of Americans are unemployed and struggling to get food and rent. And many economists are calling on Congress to approve additional spending to keep individuals and businesses alive.
The Democrats first set the stage for a Wednesday night vote on their spending package. But they pushed it back until Thursday in hopes of more time for a short-term deal with the White House, CNN reported. The Democratic Plan is unlikely to become law in the face of strong Republican opposition.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met for 90 minutes on Wednesday to discuss a compromise on a coronavirus aid package.
Continue reading: Business stimulus talks continue as dealmakers push for a further increase in unemployment benefits. Here is everything you need to know about the rescue package.
Pelosi said in a statement after the meeting that while some areas needed “further clarification”, talks would continue. Meanwhile, Mnuchin was optimistic, telling reporters that “great strides have been made in the past few days,” according to Capitol Hill pool reports.
“We don’t have an agreement yet, but we have more work to do,” he said. “And we’ll see where we end up.”
Earlier in the day, Mnuchin characterized the counteroffer as a $ 1.5 trillion bailout plan, akin to a plan tabled by a non-partisan group of lawmakers earlier this month.
If a last-minute deal is reached between the Democrats and the White House, it’s unclear whether Senate Republicans would support a deal that would likely cost $ 1.5 trillion or more.
House Democrats unveiled their plan on Monday, a leaner version of a $ 3.4 trillion economic aid package that they approved in May but which Republicans were quick to reject at that point.
Actions include restoring $ 600 weekly unemployment benefits through January, submitting another round of $ 1,200 in direct payments to taxpayers, and providing additional federal aid to states and small businesses.
Senate Republicans put in place a $ 1 trillion stimulus plan in late July. However, the GOP senators, many of whom opposed government spending that would add to national debt, could not find any significant support. Another $ 650 billion GOP proposal was blocked earlier this month by Democrats, who dismissed it as insufficient.
Both parties remain separate on numerous issues, including federal unemployment benefits, state aid, corporate liability protection, and overall spending.