KEY POINTS

  • McConnell warned fellow Republicans not to strike a deal with Pelosi on a new stimulus bill
  • He said the House speaker was "not negotiating in good faith"
  • The Senate majority leader also said a potential agreement could negatively affect their plan to confirm Judge Barrett to Supreme Court

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday warned fellow Republican senators against striking a deal with House Speaker Nany Pelosi on a coronavirus stimulus package before the Nov. 3 election. 

McConnell allegedly made the remarks during a closed-door Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday. According to four people familiar with the situation, McConnell was concerned that Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith" and that any deal reached could negatively affect their plans to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, The Washington Post reported. 

His comments come after Pelosi's office revealed she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin inched closer to an agreement following a 45-minute call on Tuesday. Drew Hammill, the House Speaker's spokesman, said both Pelosi and Mnuchin called for input from committee chairs to help resolve differences on a handful of spending  issues.

 

Republicans in the Senate are set to vote Wednesday on a "skinny" $500 billion relief package that would provide aid for small businesses and revive federal unemployment benefits. Their plan does not include provisions for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans. 

The GOP-backed deal's price tag is much lower than the $2.2 trillion package proposed by the Democrats and the $1.8 trillion counter-offer from the White House. Both packages included a second round of direct payments. 

While McConnell said he would bring any agreement reached between the White House and Pelosi up for a vote on the Senate floor, multiple Republicans have already said they will not support a hefty bill. 

"I don't support something of that level," Utah Senator Mitt Romney said Tuesday, USA Today reported. 

Experts, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, previously said that the U.S. needs an infusion of federal money to fuel its economic recovery amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the country. Millions of Americans are also going without critical federal unemployment benefits amid layoffs.

Trump has also pressured Congress to strike a deal and deliver another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to millions of Americans before Election Day. 

Pelosi and Mnuchin are set to hold another round of negotiations on Wednesday. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the edge against his Democratic challenger in Kentucky. It's unlikely that Congress will be able to pass a new stimulus package for the US economy before the November 3 election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Photo: AFP / Nicholas Kamm