McConnell Admits Hindering COVID Relief Talks To Rush Barrett Confirmation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admitted to his Republican colleagues on Tuesday that he has been working behind the scenes to sabotage negotiations on another COVID relief package, urging the White House not to strike a deal with House Democrats before the election.
- Common Dreams reports that McConnell said he warned the White House that reaching an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could interfere with his plan to rush through Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation early next week.
- According to the report, McConnell’s admission came “during a closed-door Senate GOP lunch just ahead of a Tuesday evening deadline for a relief deal set by Pelosi and agreed to by the Trump administration.”
- Though that deadline passed with no deal in place, Pelosi said the two sides "have been making some progress,” adding that she was optimistic a deal could be reached before Election Day.
- However, the window for passing new legislation through both chambers is quickly closing, Common Dreams noted.
Pelosi acknowledged that reality on Tuesday, telling reporters that legislation would have to be written by the end of this week for it to have any chance of reaching President Donald Trump's desk before Election Day.
While McConnell's stated excuse for standing in the way of relief is his commitment to confirming Barrett as quickly as possible, that justification may be intended to obscure the fact that many Senate Republicans are simply opposed to additional coronavirus aid, whether or not the package would disrupt the right-wing judge's path to the Supreme Court. Others have warned in recent days that in preparation for a potential Trump loss next month, McConnell is laying the groundwork to force crippling austerity under a Biden administration.