McConnell Backs Off Liability Protection in COVID-19 Stimulus Negotiations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday backed off his demand for businesses to get coronavirus-related liability protections as part of a year-end rescue package.

The Kentucky Republican urged Congress to pass an aid bill that contains neither legal immunity nor state and local government support, two roadblocks to lawmakers striking a relief deal.

“What I recommend is we set aside liability and set aside state and local, and pass those things that we can agree on knowing full well we’ll be back at this after the 1st of the year” during the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

Democratic leaders, who oppose a liability shield, quickly rejected the tradeoff. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters a lack of state and local relief puts teacher and first responder jobs “in jeopardy” in cash-crunched areas of the country. He contended his GOP counterpart is “sabotaging” a bipartisan group negotiating a $908 billion aid proposal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that “the bipartisan negotiations involving Senators and Members of the House have made good progress and must be allowed to proceed without Leader McConnell’s obstruction.”

Read the source article at cnbc.com

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