McConnell says no COVID-19 bill likely before Election Day

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s most powerful GOP ally in the Senate said Friday that Congress is unlikely to deliver another big COVID-19 relief bill before the election, casting doubt on the on-again, off-again negotiations that have failed to deliver results so far despite weeks of talks.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told an audience in Kentucky that he doesn’t see a deal coming together soon out of a “murky” situation in which the participants in the negotiations are elbowing for political advantage.

“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did in March and April but I think it’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said.

He spoke after Trump apparently performed an about-face, empowering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to resume negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on a larger, comprehensive coronavirus relief package despite calling off the talks just days before.

Trump on Friday took to Twitter to declare, “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”

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