Katie Porter slams McConnell: Here to 'expose corruption in real time'

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE on Tuesday over his calls for coronavirus-related liability protections for companies in the next COVID-19 relief bill.

“When I came to Congress, I knew I had a responsibility to pull back the curtain for the American people and expose corruption in real time. So, I’m filling you in on Senator McConnell’s attempts over the last 8 days to tank a *bipartisan* COVID relief bill,” Porter tweeted Tuesday.


Porter noted that a slate of Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike have backed a $908 billion, bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that was unveiled earlier this month.

“Everyone at the negotiating table—including Senate Rs—has agreed to a compromise. Except one. Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all COVID-related lawsuits filed that “allege injury or death” due to corporate negligence,” Porter tweeted.

 “These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life—cases filed on behalf of nursing home patients and grocery store workers who died because the company in charge of keeping them safe prioritized cutting costs over protecting them,” she continued.


The California lawmaker added that McConnell has said that President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE is “100% within his rights” to launch legal challenges to the presidential election against President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE, but the top Republican is now “refusing to pass urgently-needed relief unless it strips those same rights from the most vulnerable among us. This must be exposed.” 

McConnell has previously called for the next coronavirus relief package to include sweeping liability protections for businesses, schools, nonprofit groups and religious organizations.

However, the Republican leader on Tuesday proposed that lawmakers could keep two thorny issues, the liability protections and funding for state and local governments, out of the next relief bill.

The majority leader on Tuesday pointed out that many Republicans are strongly opposed to providing additional federal funds to state and local governments amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He said the two sides could consider only passing what they currently agree on in the next round of legislation, like money for vaccine distribution and a second round of loans for small businesses hit by the virus.


But House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) shot down the suggestion this week. Pelosi said in a statement that "Leader McConnell's efforts to undermine good-faith, bipartisan negotiations are appalling.”

"With vaccine distribution being administered by the states, state and local funding is central to our efforts to crush the virus," she added. 

The bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers backing the $908 billion coronavirus relief legislation circulated additional details of their proposal on Wednesday. However, the summary did not include specifics on liability protections or state and local aid.