McCarthy says he and McConnell back $600 stimulus checks

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySchiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House House GOP campaign arm raises .8 million in third quarter McCarthy raises nearly M so far this year MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.) reportedly told the White House on Tuesday that they would support including $600 stimulus checks in a coronavirus relief package.

McCarthy told Axios that he and McConnell would back the amount, which is being sought by the White House as part of its proposed $916 billion package. The stimulus checks were not included in the package McConnell laid out last week.

Spokespeople for McCarthy and McConnell did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.

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The White House’s new proposal, which was presented by Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS MORE, was ultimately rejected Tuesday by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan Photos of the Week: Climate protests, Blue Origin and a koala MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters MORE (D-N.Y.), who said the package was inadequate and obstructive of existing bipartisan talks over a separate compromise.

“While it is progress that Leader McConnell has signed off on a $916 billion offer that is based off of the bipartisan framework, the President’s proposal must not be allowed to obstruct the bipartisan Congressional talks that are underway. Members of the House and Senate have been engaged in good-faith negotiations and continue to make progress. The bipartisan talks are the best hope for a bipartisan solution,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. 

“The President’s proposal starts by cutting the unemployment insurance proposal being discussed by bipartisan Members of the House and Senate from $180 billion to $40 billion. That is unacceptable.”  

Stimulus checks for up to $1,200 were included in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed earlier this year, but Congress has been unable to come to an agreement on another large deal since.

Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are under increasing pressure to come to some agreement on a relief package as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge across the country.

The latest stumbling blocks have been Democrats’ push for funding for state and local governments, while McConnell and Republicans have insisted on including a liability shield for businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. 

McConnell and McCarthy proposed Tuesday dropping both provisions, but Democrats have said any package without funding for state and local governments is a non-starter.