Tags: Coronavirus | Donald Trump | Trump Administration | mitch mcconnell | infrastructure | pandemic | senate

McConnell Rules Out Trump Call for Infrastructure in Next Bill

mitch mcconnell looks to his right and points during a senate briefing
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 April 2020 06:41 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ruled out including money for infrastructure as part of the next coronavirus relief package, saying Tuesday all additional legislation must be "directly related to this pandemic," despite President Donald Trump's floating of infrastructure funding as part of another stimulus deal.

"We have an equal interest in doing an infrastructure bill," McConnell told Fox News about himself and Trump. "We don't have an equal interest in borrowing money from future generations to pay for it. In other words, it's unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic."

When asked to clarify he does not want the next bill to include infrastructure, McConnell stressed he would "be clear, infrastructure is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic that we're all experiencing and trying to figure out how to go forward." 

McConnell, however, commented the Senate would pass a separate, "more modest" bill on infrastructure in the "near future."

Instead, McConnell said, the next bill must have liability protection for companies, which he sees as an "integral part of our economy getting back to normal." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has rejected that idea.

"What I'm saying is, we have a redline on liability," he said. "It won't pass the Senate without it."

"I've been talking to business people all over the country," he added. "There is a good deal of fear about getting back to normal, knowing full well the losses that are waiting unless we address this issue. This is an integral part of getting the economy back up and running and getting the country back up and running. And that will be a condition for providing additional assistance to state and local government."

Trump earlier Tuesday acknowledged there was dissension about including infrastructure, saying there were "a lot of the Republicans" who would rather keep infrastructure separate. 

Axios also reported Tuesday that McConnell, during a conference call with Republican senators, rejected the idea of using the coronavirus bill to fund infrastructure.

Two sources also commented McConnell told senators "we need to keep the White House in the box."

"The Democrats and the White House both need to get the message," McConnell reportedly said in the call.

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Despite President Donald Trump's floating of infrastructure funding as part of another stimulus deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ruled out including money for infrastructure as part of the next coronavirus relief package.
mitch mcconnell, infrastructure, pandemic, senate, business liability protection
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2020-41-28
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 06:41 PM
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