Senate

Schumer labels McConnell’s scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as ‘a stunt’

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) labeled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote for this week as “a stunt.”

Schumer in a Sunday call with reporters commented on McConnell’s scheduling of two stimulus votes this week, including a stand-alone Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) bill Tuesday and a $500 billion package that Democrats rejected last month. 

The New York senator said he couldn’t comment specifically on the stand-alone PPP bill scheduled to be voted upon on Tuesday because “we just don’t know what he plans to do” with it. 

But Schumer called the $500 billion stimulus bill “inadequate, just up and down the line” and “a sham.”

“It’s a stunt by Sen. McConnell,” he said, noting the Kentucky Republican has blocked other stimulus plans, including the House’s HEROES Act passed in May.

Schumer said the current $500 billion package under consideration is “not gonna bring any relief to the American people.”

He said McConnell was “tied in a knot” because of the “divisions in his own caucus.” Some Republicans are pushing for less spending, while others, including President Trump, are calling for a stimulus deal before the election. 

The minority leader said McConnell and Senate Republicans were the “No. 1 reason there’s no agreement,” as they “won’t even go along with what Trump is willing” to do.  

Trump proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package earlier this month and has suggested to White House officials that he is willing to go beyond that, despite Republican senators’ pushback on the cost.  

But McConnell has said he will not bring a $1.8 trillion deal to the Senate floor.

“That’s where the administration is willing to go,” he said. “My members think half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave the White House a 48-hour deadline to come up with a coronavirus relief package after she, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have spent months since this summer working out a deal that has largely stalled.

Tags Charles Schumer Coronavirus coronavirus stimulus coronavirus stimulus deal coronavirus stimulus package Coronavirus stimulus talks COVID-19 Donald Trump Mark Meadows Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Pandemic Steven Mnuchin

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