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 SchumerDivide and conquer or unite and prosper Roe is not enough: Why Black women want an end to the Hyde Amendment National Guard back inside Capitol after having been moved to parking garage 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 JohnsonGOP senators call for commission to investigate Capitol attack Wisconsin Democrats make ad buy calling on Johnson to resign Efforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress MORE (R-Wis.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February 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 TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE than they are helping the American people reeling from the health and economic crises." 


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.


"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."