McConnell opens door to more coronavirus stimulus checks for low-income Americans

Frank Thorp V and Julie Tsirkin and Dareh Gregorian
·2 min read

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday that the next round of coronavirus legislation could include an additional round of stimulus checks aimed at helping low-income Americans.

Asked at one of three public events in Kentucky whether the relief bill would include more direct payments, McConnell said it "could well."

"I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. Many of them work in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked — hotels, restaurants — and so that could well be a part of it," McConnell said.

House Democrats have passed a $3 trillion bill that includes another round of direct deposits and checks. Republicans have been critical of the House bill, but President Donald Trump and some Senate Republicans have said they're open to including another round of direct payments in future legislation.

Speaking at a separate event earlier Monday, McConnell said he'd be putting forward his own legislation after the Senate returns July 20.

"I'll be unveiling something which will be a starting point in a few weeks and we'll be dealing with the administration and the Democrats," McConnell said.

"I can't comfortably predict we're going to come together and pass it unanimously like we did a few months ago," he added. "The atmosphere has become more political than it was in March, but I think we will do something. The country needs one last boost."

McConnell said one of his top priorities for the bill would be liability protection to protect businesses from coronavirus-related litigation.

"This is not just for businesses. This is for hospitals, doctors, nurses, nonprofits, universities, colleges, K-12, so that people who acted in good faith during this crisis are not confronted with a second epidemic of lawsuits in the wake of a pandemic that we're already struggling with," he said.

He also reiterated that, as far as he is concerned, the next stimulus bill would be the last.

"This will have to be the last rescue package, because we now have a debt the size of our economy for the first time since World War II. We cannot keep doing this," he said.