President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE will travel to the Capitol on Tuesday to attend a caucus lunch with Senate Republicans, two sources confirmed to The Hill.
The closed-door powwow comes just before the Senate is expected to leave town at the end of the week for a Memorial Day recess, and will be the first time the president has traveled to the Capitol amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Mnuchin and McConnell discuss debt limit during brief meeting Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report MORE met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Memo: Trump's justices look set to restrict abortion Conservatives could force shutdown over Biden vaccine mandate Freedom Caucus urges McConnell to block government funding over vaccine mandates MORE (R-Ky.) earlier on Tuesday to discuss the response to the virus.
Trump and Republicans have hit "pause" on additional coronavirus legislation as they wait to see the effects of states lifting social distancing restrictions and allowing some businesses to reopen. Lawmakers have also said they want to see the results of the first four coronavirus stimulus bills before pledging additional funds.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Monday that a future stimulus package may not be needed, telling reporters that "I think it’s possible that we will see a strong-enough economy that we don’t need a phase four."
McConnell, speaking from the floor, said the Senate was continuing to review the impact of the virus including holding a Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
"The coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge our nation and the Senate is here working for the American people. Our committees have called experts ... to discuss the CARES Act and the path toward reopening. We're tracking the effects of the largest rescue package ever and are considering next steps like strong legal protections so that doctors, small businesses, school teachers and universities do not face a second epidemic of frivolous lawsuits," McConnell said from the Senate floor Tuesday morning.
House Democrats passed a roughly $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill last week largely along party lines, but Republicans have declared the bill "dead on arrival."
McConnell and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCongress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Mental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-Texas) are crafting legislation to increase liability protections for employers, which the GOP leader has called a "red line" for the next funding bill.
If the Senate takes up a fifth coronavirus package it is not expected to be until after the Memorial Day recess.
But the White House has hosted several listening sessions with members of Congress, where lawmakers have floated potential ideas about the next bill.
"I think they’re just looking for some input from members. ... But we're all trying to find the right balance between public safety and gradually reopening our economy. And so I thought the comments were constructive and I'm glad the White House decided to take the call," Cornyn told reporters after a White House call last week.