Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he could support an extension of the $600 federal unemployment insurance boost — if President Donald Trump ends up backing it.
At his weekly Senate Republican leadership press conference, McConnell was asked about Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing to draw a red line on the $600 federal supplement and whether he could support a negotiated spending package containing it.
“Wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team, who has to sign it into law, and the Democrat, not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I’m prepared to support,” McConnell told reporters. “Even if I have some problems with certain parts of it.”
The Kentucky senator added many Republicans would likely not vote for the final stimulus legislation if it extended the measure, which has drawn fierce GOP criticism for months.
“We know this is going to be a negotiated settlement,” McConnell said. “It’s not going to produce a kumbaya moment like we had back in March in April where everybody voted aye. But the American people in the end need help.”
The comments mark a shift in McConnell’s position towards the enhanced unemployment benefit as he’s expressed opposition in the past. Federal unemployment insurance forms one of the biggest rifts in ongoing stimulus negotiations between top congressional Democrats and the White House.
Trump, though, does not support extending the initiative and it’s unclear if his position will change as talks stretch into their second week with few signs of progress.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are spearheading the discussions on the Democratic side while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are taking the lead for the Trump administration.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he will lay off 22,000 city workers if the Feds don’t give him a bailout.
Wolf Blitzer asked de Blasio if he is failing because crime has spiked in New York City.
The Communist Mayor, who defanged and defunded the NYPD blamed Covid for the increase in crime.
Then he said he’s very worried about the stimulus talks in DC and warned he will have to lay off 22,000 city employees from every department by October 1st if he doesn’t get a federal bailout.