McConnell, Senate GOP declare House Democrats' $3T coronavirus bill 'dead on arrival'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (R-Ky.) and members of the Senate GOP caucus panned the roughly $3 trillion House coronavirus bill unveiled on Tuesday, declaring it "dead on arrival" in the Senate. 

McConnell, speaking to reporters after a closed-door caucus meeting, said Republicans would "insist on narrowly targeted legislation." 

"What you've seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic," McConnell said, referring to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE (D-Calif.).

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Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling bipartisan energy bill The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump, Biden battle over vaccine, economy; Congress returns MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican senator, called the House bill a "payoff" to Pelosi's constituents, vowing that it will "never pass the Senate."

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Senate Democrats' campaign arm announces seven-figure investment to boost Graham challenger Graham: Comey to testify about FBI's Russia probe, Mueller declined invitation MORE (R-S.C.) called the House package "dead on arrival." 

House Democrats unveiled their latest relief legislation on Tuesday, with the bill carrying a roughly $3 trillion price tag. The bill, which could be voted on in the House as soon as Friday, includes funding for food assistance, state and local governments, another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals and hazard pay for essential workers, among other provisions.

But the bill effectively hit a buzzsaw among Senate Republicans, whose support would be needed to even get the bill scheduled for a vote on the floor, much less to pass the measure. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks Senate GOP eyes early exit MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the upper chamber, argued that the House bill was not designed to pass, calling it a "messaging exercise."  

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"It wasn't a sincere effort, or meaningful effort, to address a crisis that is being faced by the American people, but it clearly is an effort to try and create talking points for the 2020 election," Thune said. 

The Senate GOP leader and Pelosi are taking vastly different approaches to a potential fifth coronavirus bill.  

McConnell has said that he does not yet see an urgency for the Senate to act, making it increasingly likely that the chamber will leave for a weeklong Memorial Day recess without taking action on an additional bill.  

Even as House Democrats were unveiling their proposal, McConnell instead discussed from the Senate floor how he and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAirline job cuts loom in battleground states Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese, Malaysian hackers accused of targeting over 100 organizations | GOP senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal | QAnon awareness jumps in new poll MORE (R-Texas) are working on a bill to expand liability protections for employers — a "red line" for the GOP leader in any fifth coronavirus bill. 

McConnell indicated that he first wants to come to an understanding with the White House that additional action is needed before he opens negotiations with Democrats.  

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"I'm in discussion, we all are, with the administration. If we reach a decision along with the administration to move to another phase, that'll be the time to interact with the Democrats," he said.

Democrats have hammered the GOP leader for his approach, arguing that with the coronavirus still causing economic havoc, it is not the time for a "pause." 

"We have to put money in the pockets of the American people, recognizing the pain, the agony that they are feeling. To those who would suggest a pause, I'll say the hunger doesn't take a pause, the rent doesn't take a pause, the hardship doesn't take a pause," Pelosi said during an appearance on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes."