Mitch McConnell rips into the $3.4 trillion Democratic stimulus plan as ‘unserious’

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Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the $3.4 trillion Democratic stimulus plan a day after President-elect Joe Biden implored Congress to pass it.

  • “House Democrats’ so-called ‘HEROES Act’ is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker’s own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted.

  • It’s unclear how Republicans and Democrats would bridge significant divisions that remain as virus cases surge and some states and cities reimpose lockdown restrictions.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fiercely criticized the Democratic stimulus plan on Tuesday, a day after President-elect Joe Biden in his first major economic speech pressed Congress to pass it.

“House Democrats’ so-called ‘HEROES Act’ is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker’s own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted.

He continued: “Huge tax cuts for rich people in blue states, but no second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Those are their priorities?”

McConnell was alluding to a provision in the measure to waive the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction — better known as SALT — for two years. Experts have said that would largely benefit wealthier taxpayers.

On Monday, Biden pressed Congress to approve the $3.4 trillion stimulus plan, which includes $1,200 direct payments, $600 federal unemployment benefits, significant state aid, and more funding for virus testing and contact tracing.

“Refusal of Democrats, Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control,” Biden said. “It’s a conscious decision. If we can decide not to cooperate, we could decide to cooperate.”

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Republicans have staunchly opposed the plan since House Democrats passed it in May, and there’s little indication that this has changed. The GOP has called to pass a slimmer $500 billion relief plan with assistance for small businesses and health funds, as well as less in federal unemployment benefits.

“I think right now that the Democrats would have to come a long way back to reality with us to get a bill,” Sen. Richard Shelby, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

It’s unclear how both parties would bridge these significant divisions before Congress adjourns next month. McConnell is playing a larger role in crafting a stimulus bill as President Donald Trump takes a back seat. Democrats and Republicans are digging in on their priorities.

Economists have implored lawmakers to approve another stimulus package to keep struggling people and businesses afloat, especially as virus cases surge. Some states and cities have reimposed lockdown restrictions to prevent the virus’ spread.

Lawmakers are also focusing on must-pass spending bills to keep government agencies funded for the next fiscal year. They would need to be approved by December 11 to avert a government shutdown.

“The Speaker would like to do that. I would like to do that,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “Hopefully that will be the view of the administration as well.”

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