Political News

McConnell shuts door on House plan for jobless funds: Next package 'won't look anything like' Dem effort

Posted May 21, 2020 5:45 p.m. EDT

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged on a private call with House Republicans on Wednesday that Congress may have to pass further legislation to boost the economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted it would be far different than the $3 trillion bill recently passed by the House, according to a source.

"If we do another bill it won't look anything like the House Democrats' bill," McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican said that the $600 weekly boost in unemployment benefits "will not be in the next bill," according to the source. McConnell said otherwise the federal government would be paying people more to remain unemployed than to work. The House Democratic bill would've extended the expanded unemployment benefits through January.

The Senate Republican leader insisted that liability reform be included to minimize lawsuits, calling trial lawyers "vultures."

And he knocked how the Democrats now work, criticizing their rule change to allow remote voting for the first time ever and charging that they're trying to solve a pandemic by giving one person multiple votes. House Republican leaders have recently said the rule change could be unconstitutional, a charge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disputes saying that Supreme Court precedent has shown the chamber can write its own rules.

McConnell also argued that the federal government could not indefinitely borrow and spend to save the economy. He referenced Henry Morgenthau, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury Secretary, who said before World War II that the New Deal programs didn't decrease unemployment but gave the United States "an enormous debt to boot!"

The senate majority leader said that Congress needs to track the effects of the multi-trillion dollar legislation it has already passed before moving forward.

"We need to see growth and that will dictate what we do and when we do it," said McConnell, according to the source.

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