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McConnell: Dems Are 'Stretching Out' the Pandemic as a 'Rationale for Additional Spending'

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) claims Democrats are trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic to allow them to pass additional spending, which he argues is not necessary or “best” for the country.

On Monday, McConnell said, “I think it’s pretty safe to say the bipartisanship of last year has kind of broken down because … our colleagues on the other side of the aisle just can’t resist stretching out the pandemic, using it as a rationale for additional spending far beyond what is best for the country.”

Last year, lawmakers passed two major COVID-19 relief packages which received bipartisan support in both chambers. However, after President Joe Biden was inaugurated and proposed another $1.9 trillion relief package, Republicans balked at another round of spending as they claimed it was a “payoff to progressives.”

Still, Democrats were able to pass Biden’s relief proposal without any Republican votes. Biden argued the bill was “so desperately needed, urgently needed” to help bolster the economy.

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Now Biden is asking Congress to pass $4 trillion in spending on overhauling the nation’s infrastructure and social services, which he is casting as “a once-in-a-generation investment in America.”

Biden’s plans aim to address the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and tunnels while making investments to improve the nation’s electric grid and water systems and combat climate change. He also wants to spend billions to provide paid family leave, free universal preschool, and two years of free community college.

To pay for his new proposals, Biden wants to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans.

“The middle class and working people of this country are already paying enough in taxes,” he told supporters in Georgia last week. “It’s time for the richest one percent of Americans and corporate America to start to do their part.”

However, McConnell told reporters on Monday, “I don’t think there will be any Republican support — none, zero — for the $4.1 trillion grab bag which has infrastructure in it but a whole lot of other stuff.”

“We’re open to doing a roughly $600 billion package which deals with what all of us agree is infrastructure,” he added in reference to a Republican-crafted infrastructure proposal.

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