McConnell: ‘Urgent’ Talks in Capitol Tuesday on Massive Coronavirus Stimulus Package

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will engage in “urgent” talks on a massive stimulus package that will respond to the health threats and economic damage caused by the coronavirus.

Among the proposals is one to provide “more direct assistance for American workers and their families,” McConnell said.

The Senate will remain in session until that measure passes, the Kentucky Republican said.

“The Senate will not adjourn until we pass significant and bold new steps above and beyond what the House has passed,” McConnell said when the Senate opened for business Tuesday.

The House passed a multibillion-dollar stimulus package to address coronavirus testing and treatment and to help some workers who will lose wages due to the near-nationwide economic slowdown.

Senate lawmakers Tuesday will talk to Mnuchin about the White House plan to prop up the economy and its workers with an $850 billion stimulus.

Senate Democrats and Republicans have proposed their own stimulus ideas. Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas are among the Republicans who want the federal government to send payments directly to adult citizens.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has pitched a $750 billion stimulus aimed at helping low- and middle-class workers.

House lawmakers scaled back the bill they passed Monday by unanimous consent. Language in the bill was altered to reduce the responsibility on small businesses to provide sick leave to a smaller pool of workers.

McConnell said the earlier version “might even be actually harmful” without a broader stimulus package to help small businesses.

“Last night, a group of Republican senators conferred with Secretary Mnuchin,” McConnell said. “He’s returning to the Capitol to meet with our entire conference today. We are continuing urgent talks on further legislation. These conversations are ongoing. We are making progress.”

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