Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing a strong hand in the lame-duck session as he pressures Democrats to drop a much-sought $160 billion aid package for states and local governments as lawmakers negotiate COVID relief. (Dec. 15)
MITCH MCCONNELL: Number one, we’re not leaving here without a COVID package. Not going to happen. We’re going to stay here until we get a COVID package. No longer– no matter how long it takes, we’ll be here until we get a COVID package.
Number two, the way forward, obviously, is to put aside the two things that are the most contentious on each side– liability protection and state and local. We all know the new administration is going to be asking for another package. We can live to fight another day on what we disagree on. But we ought to agree to go forward on what we can agree on.
JONI ERNST: We need COVID relief. OK? So not only do we need to fund the vaccinations and the process of distribution, we also need to make sure that we are supporting our American businesses, industry, our individuals, our health care systems. I could go on all day.
MITCH MCCONNELL: As a polio survivor myself, unfortunately, the vaccine had not yet been developed. I’m a huge supporter of being vaccinated when you have a substance that you know works. And so whenever my turn comes, I’m going to be anxious to take the vaccine and to reassure, do my part to reassure those who are doubtful about this that we really need to get the country vaccinated.