FILE PHOTO: US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pauses as he addresses journalists after Senate Republican Weekly Policy Luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington , USA, June 23, 2020. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Another potentially large coronavirus aid bill will pass the United States Senate in late July, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans predicted Tuesday.
Without providing details of a bill that is still being drafted, McConnell said the “basic protections” provided by federal unemployment insurance should be included, but said they would not be as generous as those in pandemic-related legislation enacted earlier in the day. of this year.
“Having the basic protections of unemployment insurance is extremely important and must be continued,” McConnell told reporters.
But the huge coronavirus stimulus bill enacted in late March contained “a mistake” in paying “a bonus for not going back to work,” he said. McConnell was referring to a provision that paid an additional benefit that exceeded the wages earned by some workers before the pandemic hit and closed businesses.
McConnell has said he is crafting legislation that would protect businesses, nonprofits, schools, and other businesses from liability claims as they reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a $ 3 billion bill weeks ago to continue federal unemployment benefits and direct payments, along with a variety of other supports, such as emergency aid for state governments. and local.
McConnell has refused to consider that measure and has repeatedly said he would prepare his own bill.
Report by Richard Cowan, edition by Franklin Paul and Leslie Adler