Mitch McConnell Cancels Senate Recess 'To Continue Combating the Coronavirus'


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that the Senate will not be taking a scheduled recess next week in order to provide more time to work out bipartisan coronavirus legislation.

“Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week,” McConnell tweeted.

“I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong,” he added.

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Multiple Republican senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Roy Blunt of Missouri called for the move, The Hill reported.

The House is slated to vote on new coronavirus legislation, backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Thursday.

According to a news release from the speaker’s office, “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act” includes, free coronavirus testing; paid emergency leave (with 14 days paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave); “enhanced unemployment insurance” benefits; expansion of food stamps, student meal and seniors nutrition programs; and increased funding to Medicaid.

At a news conference on Thursday morning, Pelosi said House Democrats are actively negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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“[H]e had some suggestions. All very reasonable,” she said. “I don’t think that any of them is a — would prevent us from moving forward with the bill.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Thursday Pelosi’s bill has some “major problems.”

One issue McCarthy identified was the paid family leave proposal, noting it has no sunset provision and no exemptions.

This means the unfunded mandate on businesses would go on in perpetuity, with no relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

Other problems McCarthy identified include changes to the unemployment benefits program.

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The California congressman argued that with the nation experiencing its lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, the focus should be on keeping people in their jobs.

The Republicans are proposing an employee retention tax credit to incentivize companies not to lay off or fire workers due to the impact of the coronavirus.

McCarthy further highlighted there has been no scoring for Pelosi’s bill, meaning she is asking members to sign an open-ended check.

McConnell panned the bill in a speech from the Senate floor Thursday, calling it an “ideological wish list.”

“Unfortunately, it appears at this hour that the Speaker and House Democrats instead chose to produce an ideological wish list that was not tailored closely to the circumstances,” McConnell said.

“One is reminded of the famous comment from President Obama’s first chief of staff: ‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,’” he added.

McConnell echoed McCarthy’s concern about the paid sick leave mandate the bill places on businesses, without exemptions.

The majority leader argued the provision could put “thousands of small businesses at risk,” due to their inability to afford the mandate.

Pelosi has not committed to keeping the House in session next week after voting on its coronavirus legislation.

“Well, we’re doing one step at a time,” she said.

“I’m not saying anything. We are here to pass a bill. When we pass a bill, we’ll make a judgement about what comes next.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith