McConnell: Senate GOP Will Fight Biden’s Covid Stimulus ‘In Every Way We Can’

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “McConnell: Senate GOP Will Fight Biden’s Covid Stimulus ‘In Every Way We Can'” – below is their description.

    As Senate Democrats prepare to commence debate on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that would deliver a major victory to President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged Tuesday that Republicans will fight the legislation “in every way that we can.”

    “This is a wildly expensive proposal” and “largely unrelated to the problem,” McConnell told reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference.

    With Democrats having no margin for error in the evenly split 50-50 Senate, Biden was expected to urge them on by conference call. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he planned to bring the sweeping bill to the floor as early as Wednesday, teeing up first votes on a bill aimed at energizing the nation’s battle against the pandemic and its wounded economy.

    The huge package is a too-big-to-fail moment for the fledging president, who would be politically staggered if Congress – controlled narrowly by Democrats but controlled nonetheless – failed to deliver. Conquering the virus that’s killed half a million Americans and thrown the economy and countless lives into tailspins is Biden’s top initial priority.

    But so far, Republicans are following the template they set in former President Barack Obama’s presidency. GOP senators seemed on track to oppose the relief bill solidly, perhaps with the unanimous “no” vote their House counterparts cast early Saturday when that chamber approved its similar version of the measure.

    McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of ignoring signs that the economy and the deadly virus’ rampage through the U.S. were beginning to turn around.

    The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package. Democrats want Congress to send Biden a final version for him to sign by March 14, when an earlier round of emergency jobless benefits expires.

    The legislation would provide $1,400 payments to individuals plus hundreds of billions of dollars for schools and colleges, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, mass transit systems, renters and small businesses.

    It also has money for childcare, tax breaks for families with children and assistance for states willing to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income residents.

    The House-approved bill would provide $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits, on top of state unemployment payments, through August.

    The Senate bill seems certain to omit House provisions gradually hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly, up from the $7.25 locked in for the past 12 years.

    The Senate’s nonpartisan parliamentarian said last week that the increase ran afoul of the chamber’s budget rules.

    McConnell also commented on former President Donald Trump’s assertion made over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was responsible for the Kentucky senators re-election.

    “Yeah, I want to thank him for the 15-point margin I had in 2014 as well,” McConnell said.

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