Schumer: GOP should 'stop sitting on their hands' on coronavirus bill

Schumer: GOP should 'stop sitting on their hands' on coronavirus bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that Republicans should "stop sitting on their hands," after new figures put the number of unemployment claims since late March at 40 million. 

"The cost of Republican inaction grows every day. ... Senate Republicans ought to stop sitting on their hands and work in a bipartisan way to provide the immediate help workers and families need," Schumer said. 

He also knocked ongoing investigations by Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRomney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Grassley won't attend GOP convention amid coronavirus uptick Trump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP MORE (R-Wis.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate MORE (R-S.C.) into the FBI's investigation of Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign, saying that Republicans "are still more focused on peddling conspiracy theories to prop up President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE than they are helping the American people reeling from the health and economic crises." 

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The push for more legislation comes as the coronavirus has fueled economic uncertainty as businesses have had to close or scale back. The United States also passed a grim milestone this week when the country's coronavirus death toll passed 100,000. 

The House passed a fifth coronavirus relief package earlier this month that cost nearly $3 trillion and includes, among other provisions, another round of stimulus checks, more state and local aid and changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. 

But Senate Republicans have hit "pause" on passing more legislation, saying Congress needs to first review the roughly $2.8 trillion already appropriated in previous coronavirus relief legislation. 

McConnell said during an event in Kentucky this week that they would be discussing the potential for a fifth bill "in the next month or so." 

"Many of you are asking, what next? I think there's likely to be another bill. It will not be the $3 trillion bill the House passed the other day. But there's still a likelihood that more will be needed," McConnell said during an event at a hospital in Louisville, Ky.

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"In the next month or so we'll be talking about possibly another bill," he added.

McConnell added on Thursday that he believed "it's too early to make a final judgment about how much or when, but I think about a month from now we'll take a look at how things are going and be able to make a more intelligent decision." 

 

Asked about McConnell's prediction that they could make a decision on a fifth bill in approximately a month, Schumer told CNN that McConnell is "appalling."

"I don't know what alternative universe he is in," he added. "They're going to be forced to come to the table by the American people."