For Months Leader McConnell Called On Both Parties ‘To Pass Everything That We Can Agree To.’ Democrats Finally Listened

After Refusing To Compromise For Months, Democrats Finally Agreed To Leader McConnell’s Call To Pass COVID Relief The Parties Already Agreed On


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “From where I stand, from where Senate Republicans stand, there is no reason why this urgent package could not have been signed into law multiple months ago. “For months, Senate Republicans have consistently supported a targeted rescue package, under $1 trillion, focused on the same kinds of policies that we have settled on today. As far back as July, and all autumn, Republicans have consistently supported a targeted package right in the ballpark of this total amount, with the same kinds of policies in the mix. The package that will shortly become law falls exactly within the ballpark of what Senate Republicans have been proposing and trying to pass since last summer…. The progress of this past week could have happened in July, or in August, or in September, or in October. Senate Republicans were advocating for a package just like this one, all along, in real time. I just wish our partners on the other side had put political calculations aside and worked with us to make this happen a long time ago.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2020)


Since August, Leader McConnell Has Consistently Called For Passing Relief Where Republicans And Democrats Agree And Saving Controversial Issues For Later

AUGUST: LEADER McCONNELL: “Republicans agree we ought to continue additional federal jobless benefits during this extraordinary time. Senate Republicans tried several times to stop them from expiring. The Democratic Leader blocked us. … Does anyone in this country really believe that relief for Americans should be totally contingent on bailing out states for mismanagement that predated this pandemic by decades? … And does anyone really think that Congress should walk away from countless subjects where a bipartisan agreement should be possible over these fringe positions? … Republicans wanted to agree on the things we could agree to. Democrats said our way or the highway. Republicans wanted to send cash now for schools, testing, and unemployment benefits and argue over state bailouts later. Democrats said nobody gets a penny unless Texas and Florida bail out New Jersey. So this is where we are. The previous UI benefits expired. The PPP closed its doors. … From the beginning, our side has tried everything possible to find common ground and deliver more help. But Democrats said no.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 08/10/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “The two parties should have been able to agree on a huge sweep of subjects — from testing; to school money; to legal protections; to direct payments; and more. Republicans wanted to reach an agreement everywhere we could and then continue to fight over the contested questions later. But the Democrats said no — because they know their unrelated wish-list items would have no prayer of standing on their own merit. Only these hostage tactics could possibly get their bad ideas across the finish line. So struggling people have waited, and waited, and gotten nothing.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 08/11/2020)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “In point of fact, the Speaker and the Leader have not conceded anything. They haven’t budged on their absurd demands. ... And they’ve refused Republicans’ offers to pass everything that we can agree to, right now. Republicans don’t think the disputed issues should hold up the most urgent aid for working families. But Democrats say no. Their partisan games continue. And so the nation’s pain continues, too. Laid-off workers, and kids, and parents, and doctors and nurses are waiting for help. Our people are waiting for help. Republicans have been at the table for weeks. We just need seriousness on the other side.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 08/13/2020)

SEPTEMBER: LEADER McCONNELL: “Republicans see this differently. We don’t think this crisis cares about partisan politics. We think people are hurting and Congress should do our job. We want to agree where bipartisan agreement is possible, get more help out the door, and then keep arguing over the rest later. That’s how you legislate. That’s how you make law. You find agreement where agreement is possible and keep arguing over the rest later. So Republicans are making yet another overture. Today we are releasing a targeted proposal that focuses on several of the most urgent aspects of this crisis. Issues where bipartisanship should be especially possible.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 09/08/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Today, we are going to vote. Every Senator will be counted. Should we move forward with a floor process to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars more for kids, jobs, and healthcare? Should we at least vote to move forward and have this debate out in the open? Or do our Democratic colleagues prefer to hide behind closed doors and refuse to help families before the election? … We proposed breaking off some of the most urgent, most bipartisan policies and agreeing wherever we could. Unemployment insurance. The Paycheck Protection Program. But Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader blocked that too. They said they didn’t want to do anything ‘piecemeal.’ … My Democratic colleagues should stand up and tell the American people which elements of our multi-hundred-billion-dollar proposal they actually oppose. … Today every Senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to, or they want to send families nothing.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 09/10/2020)

OCTOBER: LEADER McCONNELL: “We will see whether our Democratic colleagues in this chamber agree that families deserve nothing rather than something… or whether they are ready to let the Senate make law across the huge areas where we do not even disagree. … Nobody thinks this proposal would resolve every problem forever. What it does contain is half a trillion dollars of good that Congress can do right now, through programs that Democrats do not even say they oppose. American families deserve for us to agree where we can, make law, and push huge amounts of money out the door while Washington continues arguing over the rest.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/19/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Republicans want to conquer this disease through testing, treatments, and vaccines. And Democrats say they agree with us. Republicans want to pour money into safe schools and make sure an entire generation of kids don’t fall any further behind. And Democrats say they agree with us. Republicans want to re-open the Paycheck Protection Program so that Main Streets across America don’t turn into COVID ghost towns; so that millions of workers can keep their jobs and keep getting paid. And Democrats say they agree with us. For workers who’ve been laid off, Republicans want to renew the federal supplement to unemployment insurance. Democrats say they agree with that. … Let’s put aside our differences, agree where we can, and move forward. Why not get the country in a better place while Washington continues to argue over the rest? … Let’s find our common sense, agree where we can, and advance this legislation while we debate the rest.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/21/2020)

NOVEMBER: LEADER McCONNELL: “Senate Republicans have spent months trying to get another bipartisan rescue package passed and signed into law for the American people. For months, our position has been consistent: We want to reach agreement on all the areas where compromise is well within reach, send hundreds of billions of dollars to urgent and uncontroversial programs, and let Washington argue over the rest later. There is no reason why doing right by struggling families should wait until we resolve every difference on every issue. But unfortunately, both Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader have been equally consistent. And they don’t think Congress should do anything unless they get to cash out a far-left ideological wish list, including things with zero relationship to the present crisis.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/18/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “There is only one remaining question for the Speaker and the Democratic Leader. One. Will they finally let Congress pass hundreds of billions of dollars of relief on all the subjects where we agree? Or will they continue to insist that either they get their entire ideological wish list or the American people get nothing at all?” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/30/2020)

DECEMBER: LEADER McCONNELL: “Anyone who’s heard me speak about coronavirus relief going back months has heard one central principle: Let’s deliver right away on all the subjects where everybody agrees, and argue over the rest later. That solution to this impasse has been in plain sight for anyone willing to see it. Agree where we agree, bank that progress, make law, take a whole lot of pressure off struggling people, and then keep debating the areas where we don’t agree. … But here in the Senate, I put forward a serious and highly targeted relief proposal including the elements which we know the President is ready and willing to sign into law. Why should these impactful and non-controversial life preservers be delayed one second longer? At long last, let’s do what Congress does when we want an outcome. Let’s make law on all the subjects where we agree, on all the areas where President Trump is ready to sign bipartisan relief into law. I promise, our deep differences will still be here to debate. Our disagreements will be right where we left them. … Compromise is within reach. We know where we agree.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/03/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “[M]onth after month after month, it is the Democratic leaders who have said that no relief whatsoever can pass, no consensus items can become law, unless multiple controversial areas where we don’t agree are resolved to the Democrats’ liking…. I think if the Senate Democratic Leader would allow it, the three things the Democratic Whip mentioned — small business aid, re-upping unemployment aid, and setting up vaccine distribution — could pass the Senate by a landslide. A targeted compromise on the most urgent items could pass by a massive bipartisan margin. We could easily put together a whole slew of commonsense policies — like those three policies, and other commonsense things like legal protections that university presidents and the American Council on Education have been pleading for — bring it to the floor, and pass it. Everybody knows why that hasn’t happened. There’s one reason. The Speaker of the House and the Democratic Leader have spent months tying the most bipartisan, common-sense policies to their most controversial requests, and saying the country can’t get the former unless they get the latter. Their strategy has been all or nothing. And so struggling Americans have gotten nothing.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/07/2020)


LEADER McCONNELL: ‘I Recommend … We Set Aside Liability And Set Aside State And Local,’ ‘Both Sides Drop What Seem To Be The Most Controversial Demand’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY):I suggested that both sides drop what seem to be the most controversial demand in the eyes of our counterparts. Democrats continue to oppose common-sense legal protections that university presidents have been begging for; and Republicans see no need to send huge sums of money to state and local governments whose tax revenues have actually gone up. Negotiating 101 suggests we set those two controversial pieces aside and plow ahead with the huge pile of things that we agree on. But that would require both sides to truly want an outcome.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/09/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “It remains my view that we ought to pass what we can agree on, and I think that's a pretty broad area that includes PPP, vaccine delivery, additional assistance to healthcare providers, and a variety of other things that are not controversial. The two big items that you have been writing about are liability protection and state and local government. … What I recommend is we set aside liability and set aside state and local impasse those things that we can agree on, knowing full well we will be back at this after the first of the year. … [W]hy don't we set aside the two obviously most contentious issues we know we're going to be confronted with another request after the first of the year. We'll live to fight those another day and pass the things that we agree on.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 12/08/2020)

LEADER McCONNELL: “In what universe should emergency aid for small business be contingent on massive bailouts for state governments with no linkage to actual needs? Democrats are acting like it’s more important to supply the Governor of California with a special slush fund than to help restaurant workers in California keep their jobs. Oh and by the way, these demands for state and local government giveaways are blocking urgent aid for struggling families at a time when many states’ tax revenues have largely gone up! … Whatever future problems Democrats may think they see around the corner, it is preposterous to claim these blue states that are bragging about their tax windfalls must receive another federal handout right this instant, before working families can get one penny more. Small businesses need saving now. Unemployed people need relief extended now. Vaccine distribution networks need funding now. None of that should be held hostage over inter-governmental bailouts for states that are currently raking in revenue faster than they can spend it.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/11/2020)



Related Issues: Appropriations, COVID-19