Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell turned up the pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday, telling colleagues there was “no reason” that Congress should not pass another coronavirus stimulus package before the end of the year.
Lawmakers have just weeks to reach terms on an agreement before Congress adjourns for the year on Dec. 21. In an address on the Senate floor, McConnell, R-Ky., called on lawmakers to finalize a relief package before the session ends.
“There is no reason – none – why we should not deliver another major pandemic relief package to help the American people through what seems poised to be the last chapters of this battle,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Negotiations have stalled for months in Congress on additional coronavirus-related relief measures. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders support the passage of a sweeping $2 trillion package with built-in aid for state and local governments, while Republicans, including McConnell support a “skinny” package with targeted relief measures aimed at businesses.
In a follow-up post, McConnell pointed out that Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have faced pushback within their own party regarding stimulus negotiations.
“The American people need more help now,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. “Congress should deliver more COVID relief this year. Even House and Senate Democrats are publicly saying that Speaker Pelosi's and Leader Schumer's all-or-nothing obstruction needs to stop.”
Calls for additional relief measures have intensified in recent days amid a record spike in COVID-19 cases in several states. Funding for vaccine distribution, embattled small businesses and school districts are expected to form the core of any package.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.