As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the United States, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks a relief package currently sitting on his desk can wait until Monday night to be sent to the president.
As Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) noted on Saturday, “There is a bill that will provide relief for people with COVID 19 that the House passed and the POTUS will sign. But Leader McConnell has us out of session from Thursday evening until Monday evening.”
The Democratic senator added, “Time is of the essence. Let’s get this done now.”
It’s Saturday morning. There is a bill that will provide relief for people with COVID 19 that the House passed and the POTUS will sign. But Leader McConnell has us out of session from Thursday evening until Monday evening. Time is of the essence. Let’s get this done now.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) March 14, 2020
Mitch McConnell is single-handedly delaying the bill
The House of Representatives passed the relief package early Saturday morning with broad, bipartisan support. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even got the White House to sign onto it.
The measure would provide free coronavirus testing for every American who needs it, whether or not they have insurance, and it would give “paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.”
Additionally, it would expand funding for Medicaid to help state and local governments combat this health emergency.
Yet, at this hour, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is keeping the Senate in recess, apparently believing that this crisis isn’t bad enough to warrant immediate action.
The United States is in a full-blown global health emergency, and the Senate majority leader doesn’t want to give up his long weekend.