Sen. Mitch McConnell Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he expects Congress to get out the second coronavirus stimulus package “right at the beginning of the year” in early 2021.
Other lawmakers involved in the negotiations, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, proposed significantly shorter timelines.
The bill has remained stalled in Congress for months as lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement on the contents of the next coronavirus relief package.
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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he expects Congress to get out the second coronavirus stimulus package in early 2021.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump have proposed shorter timelines, saying the next stimulus package would be passed before year’s end.
Trump in particular has been urging Congress for weeks to get out another round of relief. On Friday, he promised a stimulus package “immediately after the election,” meaning lawmakers would have to reach an agreement within a few days to make his timeline work.
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The bill has remained stalled in Congress for months, as Democrats and Republicans are at odds on what the package should include. Earlier this month, House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan, but Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the amount “outlandish” and said the two parties remain “very, very far apart on a deal.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate finances and small businesses, the pressure to produce a second round of stimulus checks to impacted Americans continues to ramp up.
McConnell, however, gave signs Friday that Americans should not expect the bill before the new year, saying in a radio interview that he predicts Congress will take up the next relief package “right at the beginning of the year.”
“We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” McConnell said.
Neither Pelosi’s office nor the White House immediately responded to Business Insider’s request for comment asking about the differing timelines.
The mixed signals are indicative of the tense disagreements between lawmakers and the Trump administration on the passing of the bill. In recent weeks, each group has publicly expounded on a different timeline when asked about the bill’s progress.
Lawmakers continue to hash out out their disagreements, with Pelosi on Thursday sending to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin a list of demands she wants to see reflected in the upcoming package. Those areas of focus include virus testing, childcare, unemployment benefits, state aid, and tax credits, among others.
The coronavirus has infected more than 9 million people in the United States, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that sum, more than 229,000 have died from it.
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