Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview on Thursday that he is optimistic a pandemic relief bill will be crafted in the near future, following nearly two weeks of talks over expanded unemployment benefits and more.
McConnell said both Republicans and Democrats have a desire to stimulate the economy amid months of high unemployment numbers and jobless claims. Numerous states shut down businesses in an attempt to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and broke out in China before turning into a worldwide pandemic.
“Exactly when that deal comes together I cant tell you, but I think it will at some point in the near future,” the Kentucky Republican said in a televised interview.
His statement comes in contrast to ones made by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who told reporters on Wednesday that he isnt optimistic a deal will be made at all.
“I think at this point were either going to get serious about negotiating and get an agreement in principle or Ive become extremely doubtful that well be able to make a deal if it goes well beyond Friday,” Meadows told reporters after a meeting with top Democrats. “Weve been spending so much time together that if youre not making progress, theres no sense to continue,” he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have repeatedly said there is progress being made in daily meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Meadows.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said that he might take direct action on addressing evictions and payroll tax cuts, saying he could issue an executive order to postpone payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, as well as extending a federal moratorium on evictions that expired last month.