McConnell Cancels Senate Recess, Will Remain in Town to Craft COVID-19 Legislation

Trump slams Democrats' coronavirus bill because it includes 'unrelated goodies'

Image Credits: NICHOLAS KAMM / Contributor / Getty.

(Update 13:45 ET): McConnell has canceled the Senate recess over the coronavirus, saying on Tuesday that they will remain in town to craft COVID-19 legislation.

(Update 11:11 ET): President Trump says he does not support House Democrats’ coronavirus bill because it includes ‘unrelated goodies.’

He added that he won’t invoke emergency powers under the Stafford act over the outbreak at this time.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Bossert has some thoughts on what should be done right now:

Update: McConnell responds

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has slammed legislation introduced by House Democrats to tackle coronavirus as an “ideological wish list” which he vowed to block because it creates a “needless thicket of bureaucracy.”

“Instead of focusing on immediate relief to affected individuals, families and businesses, the House Democrats chose to wander into various areas of policy that are barely related, if at all, to the issue before us.” he said.

McConnell said that instead he wants a smaller, non-controversial coronavirus response package.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also signaled his opposition to the Democratic proposal.

House Democrats are hoping to vote for their economic stimulus bill on Thursday, which would include provisions that mandate paid sick leave for workers, provide over $1 billion in aid to state and local governments $1 billion for food programs and unemployment.

The House Democrats’ bill, the text of which was released Wednesday evening, would require employers to give workers seven days of paid sick leave, with an additional 14 granted during a public health crisis, such as the coronavirus outbreak. It would replace about two-thirds of wages for most workers, subject to a maximum.

The proposal would represent a major expansion of paid leave in the U.S. Currently, only about a dozen states mandate paid sick leave. California in 2014 became the second state in the country to do so.

The bill would also provide $1 billion in emergency grants to states to process unemployment benefits and nearly $1 billion for food programs, including help for local food banks and additional funding for programs for pregnant women, children and seniors.

The bill would create a new program for paid leave that would be administered by the Social Security Administration and operate for the next year. Benefits would equal two-thirds of prior average wages, capped at $4,000 per month, and would not be taxable.LA Times

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said on Thursday morning that the House is still working with the Trump administration and a vote on the bill is still possible later in the day.

“Further information regarding the exact timing of votes will be announced as soon as it becomes available,” he said.

Powerful Bowne Report breaking down the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.