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

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit 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.

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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.

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The California lawmaker added that McConnell has said that President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE is “100% within his rights” to launch legal challenges to the presidential election against President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models 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.

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But House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Justice watchdog to probe whether officials sought to interfere with election Capitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? 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.