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McCarthy says he and McConnell back $600 stimulus checks

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress McCarthy to meet with Trump in Florida Video shows Rep. Greene calling Parkland shooting survivor a 'coward' MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Bringing America back from the brink Senate GOP slow walking Biden's pick to lead DHS 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 - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis On The Money: Senate confirms Yellen as first female Treasury secretary | Biden says he's open to tighter income limits for stimulus checks | Administration will look to expedite getting Tubman on bill Senate confirms Yellen as first female Treasury secretary MORE, was ultimately rejected Tuesday by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Reddit traders cause Wall Street havoc | Powell: Inflation fears should not impede more coronavirus aid | NJ lawmakers press for SALT cap repeal in next relief package Pelosi asks Democrats to 'write their stories' of Capitol riot Bringing America back from the brink MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFormer DHS heads blast Republicans for stalling Binden nominee Mayorkas How will an impeachment trial unite Americans? Humanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives 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.