Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that prospects for a new coronavirus relief bill before the election are not looking good. McConnell (R-Ky.) made the comments while visiting a hospital in Mount Sterling, Ky., a day after a pared-down GOP relief bill failed on a partisan vote in the Senate.
“I wish I could tell you we were going to get another package but it doesn’t look that good right now,” McConnell said, offering his most pessimistic assessment to date about the state of play.
McConnell said he still hoped to make a bipartisan deal on new economic relief. Democratic leaders have also said they still hope for a deal.
But there are no negotiations underway, and Congress is scheduled to adjourn in a few weeks for the election, so the path to an agreement is not evident.
Millions remain unemployed, and eviction and poverty threaten many people as key relief programs Congress approved as part of $3 trillion in spending in March and April have expired.
“I can’t predict that we’re going to get together here in the last two months before the election,” McConnell said. “There are needs that ought to be met and I would hope we could overcome our partisan differences and reach an agreement, but that has not happened as of today.”
The legislation that Democrats voted down on Thursday included around $300 billion in new spending for limited new unemployment insurance benefits, testing and other needs. Democrats, who have embraced a $3.4 trillion bill passed by the House in May, dismissed it as woefully inadequate to meet the country’s needs.