Mitch Mcconnell Says Another Stimulus Bill Is ‘Probably’ Needed

( Earlier this month, House Democrats passed another $3 trillion bill designed to provide economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic, but Republicans in the Senate haven’t acted on the bill they have called outrageous.
On Tuesday, though, the top Republican in the Senate said Congress will “probably” have to pass another bill at some point to mitigate damage the pandemic is causing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d still like to wait a couple weeks before seriously debating another bill. How states do in that timeframe as they begin to re-open will help inform Congress what needs to be done. As he told reporters Tuesday:
“We need to make sure we have unemployment insurance properly funded for as long as we need. So, in the next few weeks, we’ll determine whether there is yet another bill.”
Despite saying unemployment insurance needs to be properly funded, McConnell likely isn’t referring to extending a plan in the CARES Act that added $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits to those who qualify. The senator has said in the past that won’t be in the next bill, as it will start disincentivizing people to return to work.
McConnell has also said previously that the next stimulus bill would be much narrower in scope than what the House Democrats passed. He doesn’t believe another $3 trillion in relief is necessary.
With economists, lawmakers and other experts warning that even more financial support is needed throughout the country, Republicans in Washington have begun to come around to saying another bill is needed. McConnell’s comments Tuesday suggest that, as has recent word out of the White House that President Donald Trump would support another relief bill.
While details of what exactly that next bill will look like are anyone’s guess at this point, it’s likely to include some form of direct payments to many Americans again. House Democrats’ bill featured $1,200 payments to each individual earning under a certain income threshold, while also giving $1,200 per dependent child.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said those direct payments would be an essential item for Democrats in any stimulus bill, and Trump said he’d be open to that as well.
McConnell has continued to say that he feels it’s necessary for Congress to include liability protections in the next bill aimed at giving support to businesses and doctors as the economy re-opens. Democrats, though, haven’t seemed amenable to that idea as of yet.
And while Democrats included $1 trillion of support for state and local governments in their bill, McConnell said he’d like to narrow the language to only give relief for revenue lost and increased expenses that happened directly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As for unemployment benefits, it seems Republicans may be open to extending how long people would qualify for funding from the program. However, it’s unlikely they’ll agree to extend the $600-per-week bonus on top of whatever people get from their state fund. That benefit is set to end at the end of July.