Dec 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy says GOP leaders agree to $600 cash stimulus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Trump
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Trump at the White House on March 27. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tells Axios that both he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the White House they would support including $600 stimulus checks in a coronavirus relief deal being negotiated in Congress.

Driving the news: The top House Republican said he and McConnell committed to back the amount being sought by the White House during a Tuesday afternoon call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, in which Mnuchin walked them through his $916 billion plan.

  • Mnuchin later issued a statement saying he had presented the details to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the president's plan includes money for state and local government and "robust liability protections for businesses, schools and universities."

Between the lines: McConnell did not include a second round of stimulus payments in the relief framework he released last week. On Tuesday, the Senate GOP leader also proposed removing both state and local aid provisions and a liability shield for businesses — the two most controversial provisions — to focus on passing what both parties agree on.

  • But all of those things are in the White House proposal.

McCarthy told Axios that the thinking among the Republican leaders and the White House is that a coronavirus stimulus bill should either include more funding for state and local governments and language on liability protections, or neither.

  • "We won’t move state without liability. So they’re either in it together or we drop both," McCarthy said.
  • He added that President Trump agrees with that sentiment, and said he thinks the White House's proposal "is something that everyone can support."
  • A spokesperson for McConnell declined to comment.
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