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McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans MORE (R-Ky.) says he expects Congress to move another coronavirus relief package “right at the beginning” of 2021, breaking from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an 'armed insurrection' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault MORE (D-Calif.), who told reporters Thursday she wants to get a deal in the lame-duck session.

“We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion Nancy Pelosi package. I think that’ll be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year,” McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday.

“We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” the GOP leader said.

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McConnell offered a slower timeline than other lawmakers, who expect a deal to move after the election but before the end of the year or before the end of President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE’s first term in January.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday of her expectation of reaching an agreement with the Trump administration in the lame-duck session.

“We'll have — we will — well, I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE administration,” Pelosi said, predicting a win for the Democratic presidential nominee.

Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney Top Democrat: FCC actions are a 'potential setback' to autonomous vehicles MORE (S.D.) also said this week that he thought a coronavirus relief deal would move in November or December.

“The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out, but I think either way we’ll do something. The question is how much,” Thune said.

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Trump predicted earlier this week that Congress would approve a big package right after Election Day, signaling his expectation that he'll win a second term on Nov. 3.

“After the election, we’ll get the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen,” he said.

The president also predicted that Republicans would win back the House, a scenario that political handicappers view as highly unlikely.

"I think we’re going to take back the House. I think we’re going to do very well in the Senate," he said Friday.

“And I think we’re going to have a fantastic presidential election because nobody has done more than this administration in the first 3 1/2 years,” he said.