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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday it was "appropriate" that his proposed coronavirus relief legislation would not include stimulus checks for millions of Americans.

When asked by reporters if his bill would include stimulus checks, McConnell said, "no it doesn't" and justified the omission, noting, "We thought about $500 billion was appropriate at this juncture."

McConnell's so-called "skinny" proposal does not include aid for ailing state governments, extended unemployment benefits, or individual stimulus checks. But it does include liability protection for corporations.

The legislation passed by House Democrats on Oct. 1, by contrast, includes $600 per week in added unemployment benefits, another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, and $436 billion in aid for state and local governments who are suffering through the pandemic.

From an Oct. 20 press conference:

REPORTER: Does your skinny bill contain another round of stimulus checks for all Americans?
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL: No, it doesn't. But it does address an awful lot of things that we do agree on and I don't think the fact that those checks are not a part of this package, as others have said, is a good argument for not doing what we are laying on the floor, most of which is completely without controversy.
REPORTER: Why did you decide not to include another round of stimulus checks?
McCONNELL: We thought about $500 billion was appropriate at this juncture. No one would argue the economy is in good shape, but it's noteworthy that unemployment's about 8.4 percent, which is what it was in several years during the Obama first term.
We clearly have way too many people unemployed, and we do continue to plus up on unemployment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.