Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana cast doubt on whether a second stimulus check was coming at all, when asked about it on Sunday. The senator gave an interview on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, where he said so far he doesn't "know what's going to be in the bill." Kennedy added: "I don't know if there will be a bill. And, frankly, neither does anyone else."
Kennedy's party is in the majority in the United States Senate, where lawmakers are now getting back to work on another stimulus package to help the U.S. overcome the coronavirus pandemic. However, Kennedy's commentary contradicts that of other party members, in some cases, as the Republicans have been projecting confidence that another plan will pass quickly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that another stimulus bill is needed, and he believes it can get passed by the end of the month.
"This is not over. We are seeing a resurgence in a lot of states," McConnell said at the time. "I think the country needs one last boost."
McConnell and other Republican senators have ignored or outright condemned the stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress back in mid-May — the HEROES Act — which would have created a stimulus check very similar to the first. Kennedy reiterated this sentiment on Sunday, saying that the Republicans will never pass the bill, which has been in limbo for two months.
"The only thing I'm certain of right now is that the bill we pass if we pass one, will not be Speaker Pelosi's bill," Kennedy said. "It is untethered to reality, and among most senators, including many Democrats, it's about as popular as a sinkhole."
Sources close to the Senate told Fox News that McConnell is hopeful that other Republicans will get on board if McConnell writes the next stimulus bill himself. He has made that intention clear before as well, saying the bill will be written "in my office."0comments
Republicans reportedly want a stimulus bill that costs $1 trillion or less — a significant drop from the $2.1 trillion CARES Act and the even more expensive HEROES Act. They cite concerns about the growing national debt, although some analysts like David Plotz of Business Insider have speculated that this is just posturing.
The Senate returns from a two-week recess on Monday, and they have just three weeks before their next scheduled break. Many are hopeful that something will pass in that time, but according to Kennedy, "There's no consensus on anything."