Stimulus Checks: Mitch McConnell Slams Democrats for Failed Negotiations, Holding Relief Bill ‘Hostage’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is joining in on the blame game after congressional lawmakers failed to reach a deal on another stimulus relief bill. Just days after negotiations collapsed and President Donald Trump bypassed Congress by issuing an executive order, McConnell, in a series of Monday tweets, slammed Democrats for holding the legislation "hostage."

McConnell had led the GOP in introducing their proposal, the HEALS Act, which was revealed on July 27, more than two months after Democrats had launched their plan, the HEROES Act. The HEROES Act had been approved in the House of Representatives, though McConnell had refused to bring it to a vote in the Senate, dubbing it a "$3 trillion left-wing wish list." Instead, in July, he began crafting a Republican proposal with a $ trillion price tag.

The HEALS Act sought to address a number of aspects of the economic crisis. Along with the second round of stimulus payments, the bill sought to extend the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit at $400 per week and also provided funding for coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and schools as they began to reopen. While Democrats also supposed an additional round of stimulus payments, there wasn't much else both sides could agree on, and negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House chief of staff largely remained deadlocked until completely collapsing. According to McConnell, the blame for the collapse lies entirely on Democrats.

Since the president's signing of an executive order and three memoranda addressing unemployment benefits, evictions, a payroll tax cut, and student loans, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun pointing fingers regarding who is to blame for the collapse in discussions. On Monday, the president cast blame on Democrats, criticizing Democratic leaders for being "hardliners" who "only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly." Meanwhile, many people have pointed out McConnell's refusal to take up the HEROES Act months ago.

Despite the finger-pointing, both sides are signaling that they are willing to head back to the table to continue negotiations to reach a deal. It is unclear, however, if talks will, in fact, continue or if both sides would be able to work through their differences should discussions be renewed.