McConnell's Stimulus Bill an 'Insult' to Americans 'Who Need Relief,' Nevada Senator Says

Amid the ongoing stalemate over a coronavirus relief bill, a so-called "skinny" proposal previously put forward by the Senate GOP has been branded "an insult to the American people" by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

A pitch backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested around $500 billion in stimulus spending, though was rejected in the Senate.

Democrats have long pushed for significantly more funding for relief, with their HEROES Act valued at around $3.4 trillion, though Republicans have been cautious of this.

The Quote

"Senator McConnell's skinny #COVID19 bill is an insult to the American people who need relief in many areas right now. This bill lacks critical funding and relief for renters, homeowners, hospitals and state, local and tribal governments," Cortez Masto said in a tweet.

"But that's not all—it also lacks aid to the critical industries like gaming, hospitality& tourism that are the backbone of NV's economy. It's time for Republicans in Congress to go back to the drawing board & work w/us to include critical relief that's been left out of this bill."

Why It Matters

Despite bipartisan agreement to some level of stimulus being necessary, a deal has not been able to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The House passed the HEROES Act in May, though this has been pushed against in the Senate, where it was branded dead on arrival.

McConnell has faced criticism having previously called for a pause in coronavirus spending. He has since indicated his willingness to back stimulus to an extent, though Democrats have then deemed the proposals he put forward insufficient.

Talks between Democrat figureheads and White House negotiators have failed to breach the impasse, with cost proving a major sticking point. Each side has suggested the other has not been willing to compromise sufficiently.

The amount of enhanced unemployment benefits and funding for local and state governments have been points of contention, with Democrats calling for more to be spent on these matters than Republicans have been willing to.

The Counterpoint

McConnell has suggested that bipartisan divisions in the run up to the election have led to the delay in stimulus, branding blocking of his proposals "pointless political games."

After his skinny bill was rejected, he tweeted: "Every Senate Democrat just voted against hundreds of billions of dollars of COVID-19 relief. They blocked money for schools, testing, vaccines, unemployment insurance, and the Paycheck Protection Program.

"Their goal is clear: No help for American families before the election."

White House negotiators have argued that points of agreement should be pushed through first and further action taken then if necessary, though Democrats have rejected a piecemeal approach.

Newsweek has contacted McConnell and Cortez Masto for comment.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joins a news conference following the weekly Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 15, 2020. He has faced criticism for his stances on stimulus amid a stalemate in securing another package. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images