McConnell on CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street” this morning to discuss COVID-19 relief. See below for highlights or click here to watch the full interview.
On COVID-19 Relief Negotiations:
“The talks continue. I think the one thing we agree on, most of us at least, is the economy needs a boost. The Chairman of the Fed thinks so, the Secretary of the Treasury thinks so, the President thinks so, and I think so.
“What we are arguing about, as you can imagine, is how much. And I heard you guys talking about that earlier. The Democratic House put together a $3 trillion, basically liberal wish list, that we think goes far beyond what is appropriate for this situation. What I laid out as a starting place-- which, as you know, some of my members think is too much-- is about one-third of that targeted in the following ways: kids in school, jobs, the popular PPP program, health care, hospitals.
“And most importantly, to help the economy get back on its feet, liability protection for everyone dealing with this disease, narrowly crafted for the coronavirus only, to preserve hospitals, doctors, nurses, universities, colleges, K-12 from being hit with an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of a pandemic which we all know is not over.”
On Wearing A Mask:
“I've been promoting mask wearing, we've been doing it in the Senate since the first of May when we resumed in person sessions. It's the single most significant thing everybody in the country can do to help prevent the spread. Wear a mask, practice social distancing. Dr. Fauci indicated yesterday we can't shut the economy down again. He's absolutely right. We have to live in it, and work with it until we get a vaccine.
“I don't think wearing a mask and social distancing alone is enough. I share the view of the Chairman of the Fed and the Secretary of the Treasury that we do need another boost. We'll resolve our differences in this political tug of war and get something done for the American people.”
On Small Business Relief:
“We've certainly targeted small businesses. The popular PPP loan program-- which expires at the end of this week-- and we think desperately needs to be renewed, has been enormously successful. I’ll give you an example-- in my state, $5.2 billion has been loaned out to over 48,000 Kentucky small businesses who have been able to maintain their employees. Obviously the overall unemployment is still way too high but the PPP program, which is not in the Democratic passed House bill at all, has done a great job to help small businesses struggle through this and not close their doors.”