McConnell pushing White House to stop stimulus talks until after election

Trump says he wants to 'do it even bigger than the Democrats.' McConnell says relax.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pushing for the White House to stop negotiations for a new stimulus package of economic relief related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

During a private lunch with fellow Republicans on Tuesday, McConnell expressed that he’s against a “lopsided” agreement that fiscally-conservative members of their party disagree with. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Eager for a deal that could bolster his re-election prospects, President Donald Trump recently reversed course from negotiations halted the day he was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after being treated for COVID-19. 

On Oct. 6, Trump tweeted that he was ending talks “until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”

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Days later, Trump presented an offer of $1.8 billion to support COVID-19 relief efforts. “Go Big!” he said. In another tweet last week, Trump urged Republicans to “Go big or go home!!!” 

“I want to do it even bigger than the Democrats. Not every Republican agrees,” Trump said Tuesday on Fox News. “But they will.”

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Experts are concerned that the president’s eagerness to offer relief to American voters will wane if he loses the presidential election on Nov. 3, and polls indicate that is a distinct possibility. 

But while it appears that negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are progressing, Republicans are concerned that the sides remain too far apart to reach a deal before Election Day. 

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Instead, McConnell is expressing concerns that striking a deal for a large economic package would not benefit Republicans who’ve stalled talks by maintaining a conservative stance. 

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said Tuesday that “it’s getting to be toward the last minute, and the clock keeps ticking away. I’m not optimistic about doing anything.” 

Up for debate is another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans, as well as financial support for schools, coronavirus testing and additional vaccine research. 

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