McConnell on PBS and Fox News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined PBS NewsHour and Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” this evening to discuss the HEALS Act. See below for excerpts.

PBS NewsHour: Link to video here.

On Unemployment Insurance

“So unemployment insurance is extremely important. Particularly at a time of high unemployment like we have now. It ought to be operating like it has traditionally. But to pay people more to stay home than to go back to work, we think is a mistake and I don't know which economist you're citing but there are huge numbers of small business people all across the country, almost without exception, telling us and I’m sure telling Democrats as well, that this is a deterrent to getting back to work.”

On the Importance of Reopening Schools

“Of course one thing that is extremely important, to make sure children are well fed, is to get them back in school. And we actually put more money in our proposal than House Democrats for education. That's both K-12 and college and to extent that these local school districts are allowed [to] make the decision to let their children come back to school… for many of these kids the best meal they get in the day is the one they get at school. Getting them back in school is an important step in the right direction.”

Fox News: Link to video here.

On Liability Protections

“[Democrats] are also reluctant to provide liability protections. It's not just for businesses, it's for hospitals and doctors and nurses and universities and colleges, and K-12 educators. We don't need an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic that we are still struggling with.”

On Coronavirus Relief Negotiations

“We are in consultation with the White House. Obviously the President is never irrelevant, he's the only person in the country who can sign something into law or veto a measure that lands on his desk, so yes, we are consulting with them and trying to get on the same page as much as we can.

“I think the White House and the majority of Senate Republicans think no bill is not an option. The only question is, what kind of bill? And what we’ve tried to do is to target our proposal to kids back in school, jobs, health care, and liability relief. We think that's what the country needs at this particular juncture.”