McConnell predicts Congress will need fifth coronavirus bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday that he believes there will be a fifth coronavirus relief bill, as the country sees an uptick in the number of cases.

“We will be taking a look at — in the Senate in a couple of weeks — another package based on the conditions that we confront today,” McConnell said in Louisville, Ky.

McConnell added on the potential for a fifth coronavirus bill that “I believe there will be one.”

McConnell previously predicted in early April that there would be another coronavirus bill, but, since then, Republicans hit pause on talk of another relief package, saying that they wanted to see how the nearly $3 trillion already appropriated by Congress was being spent.

Republicans are expected to make a final decision on a fifth coronavirus bill once they return to Washington from a two-week break on July 20. But McConnell said on Monday that he was “likely” to introduce a bill in a few weeks.

“If you’re looking for what I think the theme of what a next package that I’m likely to roll out here in a few weeks would focus on: liability reform, kids in school, jobs and health care, that’s where the focus, it seems to me, ought to be,” McConnell said.

Once the Senate returns, the chamber’s Republicans would have only a matter of weeks to unveil a coronavirus proposal and try to negotiate an agreement with Democrats. The House passed a nearly $3 trillion bill largely along party lines in May, but that bill has been declared dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate.

The House is scheduled to be in town for two weeks before leaving Washington until September, while the Senate is scheduled to be in session for three weeks. There are deep divisions on a myriad of issues including more help for states and local governments, whether a second round of stimulus checks should be sent to households and whether to bolster unemployment insurance.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Mitch McConnell stimulus bill

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