Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) officially broke with the White House on stimulus negotiations on Thursday, saying that Republicans lawmakers won’t support a massive stimulus that the White House and Democrats are negotiating.
“There were discussions going on between the Secretary of the Treasury and the Speaker about a higher amount,” McConnell said of negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “That’s not what I’m going to put on the floor.”
The Senate Majority Leader’s break with the White House is notable: In early August, McConnell said that the GOP would go along with any deal made between the White House and Democratic lawmakers.
“Leader McConnell is continuing to do what leaders do: protect his caucus as best he can,” Mark Harkins, a former congressional staffer and senior fellow at Georgetown’s Government Affairs Institute, told Yahoo Money in an email on Thursday. “He is giving Senate Republicans an opportunity to vote for support to help while blaming the Democrats for blocking it. However, this is not meant to be a solution to the underlying problem just to the political problem.”