Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that the next stimulus bill will be the "final" one amid the coronavirus pandemic. The bill, according to McConnell, will be smaller than the $2 trillion CARES Act and "will not be $3 trillion." His comments come as members of Congress are stuck in negotiations over additional relief packages.
Speaking with reporters in Kentucky, McConnell said that the fourth bill "will be written in the Senate" and "supported by" the Trump administration, with support from Democrats, as the bill would need at least some support from Democrats before it can become law, according to CNBC. He added that it "will be narrowly crafted, designed to help us where we are a month from now, not where we were three months ago." According to McConnell, Americans "could anticipate the decision being made on whether to go forward in about a month."
Details of the potential bill remain unclear, though McConnell said that he would not support a plan that does not include a measure to shield doctors and businesses from certain lawsuits as the economy continues to reopen, despite that Democrats have opposed sweeping liability protections. McConnell also stated that Congress would "help those who are still unemployed" while criticizing the $600 per week federal benefit set to expire after July, and said he would "take a look" at more funding for states and municipalities. He did not, however, comment on the possibility of sending a second round of stimulus payments to Americans.
Congress has already passed a total of three such stimulus relief packages. The first package, dubbed the CARES Act, was signed by President Donald Trump in late March and included sending stimulus checks to Americans. A second package, targeting small businesses, was later passed.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives recently passed that HEROES Act, which was proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Largely believed to be "dead upon arrival" at the Senate, the $3 trillion bill seeks to give a second round of stimulus checks to Americans. Under the bill, single filers making up to $75,000 would receive a one-time stimulus payment of $1,200 and joint filers with an income of up to $150,000 would receive a one-time payment of $2,400. There is a phase-out for incomes – single filers earning $75,000 through $99,000 and joint filers earning $150,000 through $198,000. Americans would also receive $1,200 per dependent, a $700 increase from the CARES Act.