U.S. Senate majority leader pushes for "targeted" COVID-19 relief deal
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday renewed his push for a focused, targeted COVID-19 relief, and denounced Democrats' proposal as "absurd" and "socialist."
"Our country needs more smart, focused relief that is targeted to schools, healthcare, small businesses, & those who are hurting the most," McConnell said in a tweet.
"Not the absurd multi-trillion-dollar socialist wish-lists Democrats have demanded," said McConnell, who has been unanimously reelected as the leader of the Senate Republican caucus.
McConnell's remarks came a few days after he said Congress needs to approve a new COVID-19 relief package before the end of the year as COVID-19 cases are surging across the country.
"Hopefully, the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election, and I think we need to do it, and I think we need to do it before the end of the year," the Kentucky Republican said at a news conference last week, after winning his reelection bid for a seventh six-year Senate term.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been negotiating a new COVID-19 relief package for months, but have failed to reach an agreement.
The Democrats-controlled House of Representatives in early October passed a 2.2-trillion-U.S.-dollar relief bill. Some Senate Republicans, however, insisted on a relief package below 1 trillion dollars, and failed to advance a 500-billion-dollar bill in late October.
When asked about Republicans' interest in a smaller relief bill, Pelosi told reporters on Friday that "it doesn't appeal to me at all, because they still have not agreed to crush the virus."