McConnell defends GOP crafting stimulus plan without Democrats

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday defended Senate Republicans fast-tracking the third leg of the coronavirus stimulus package without input from Democrats, saying that urgency is key.

"The Republicans are in the majority in the Senate. We wanted to put forward our proposal," McConnell told CNN in an interview that aired Thursday evening.

"We feel like we have an obligation to do that as a majority, and the Democrats, of course, need to be given an opportunity to react to it, and that all begins tomorrow," McConnell told the network's Dana BashDana BashDemings 'concerned' over theme park openings in Florida Demings hits Trump for campaigning off Biden 'you ain't black' comments New Jersey governor warns of educator, health-care worker layoffs without federal aid MORE.


"So, don't create controversy where there isn't controversy," he continued.

The two previous stimulus bills that have already been signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE totaled more than $100 billion, but the current GOP bill is much larger, hovering close to around $1 trillion.

Included in the bill is $200 billion in loans to hurting industries such as airlines, $300 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses and direct monetary payment to Americans under a certain income threshold.

In a joint statement late Thursday, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans MORE (D-N.Y.) said that, at first glance, the GOP bill needs reworking.

"We are beginning to review Senator McConnell's proposal and on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers," the statement read.


There are more than 14,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of Friday morning and at least 205 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. McConnell admitted that the pandemic was uncharted territory for lawmakers.

"This is a totally new experience. So there isn't a precedent you can look to, but we're moving as rapidly as we can to try to deal with all these shortcomings and to — to get help to the American people," the Kentucky senator said.

"That's why we're here, and we're trying to operate on a bipartisan basis to do that. And I think we'll succeed," he added.