Mitch McConnell said this week that the next coronavirus relief package would be revealed several days later than expected, a delay that comes as the Senate majority leader has faced increasing pressure, including protests taking place outside his own home in Washington, D.C. As The Hill reported, Republican senators had expected to release details of the new proposal late this week after having worked with the White House, but it was pushed back as they were “publicly struggling to get on the same page.”
In announcing the delay, McConnell said that Republicans needed to give the Trump administration more time to work on the details, though he stressed that they already have a broad agreement on what would be included.
“The administration has requested additional time to review the fine details, but we will be laying down this proposal early next week. We have an agreement in principle on the shape of this package,” McConnell said.
McConnell has said that Republicans are looking for $105 billion for education and another round of direct payments to Americans, as well as incentives for companies to hire and retain workers. The proposed bill would also include more funding for critical protective equipment. He did not mention some of the provisions called for by Democrats, including relief funding for local governments that would allow them to avoid cutting critical programs.
Many have pointed out that another crucial item that seems to be missing from the Republican’s proposed bill — an extension of the unemployment benefits that are currently set to expire. As WJLA reported, protesters in the nation’s capital held a march that ended at McConnell’s home, where they spoke out about the potential end of the $600-per-week additional benefit to the millions who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.
While police only allowed the protesters to come within a half-block of McConnell’s home, it is clear that the majority leader is taking much of the blame for perceived issues with the next relief package. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also blasted McConnell and Republicans on Thursday, saying that the GOP has been unable to come together to get the job done.
“Our Republican colleagues have been so divided, so disorganized, and so unprepared that they have struggled to draft a partisan proposal within their own conference. This is before they talk to a single Democrat. This is before they even consider what the House has done,” Schumer said.