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McConnell shuts door on House plan for jobless funds: Next package 'won't look anything like' Democratic plan

CNN logo CNN 5/22/2020 By Manu Raju, Alex Rogers and Ted Barrett, CNN
a person standing in front of Mitch McConnell et al. posing for the camera: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), C, walks to the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol as the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump continues on February 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. © Mario Tama/Getty Images Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), C, walks to the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol as the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump continues on February 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged on a private call with House Republicans on Wednesday that Congress may have to pass further legislation to boost the economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted it would be far different than the $3 trillion bill recently passed by the House, according to a source.

"If we do another bill it won't look anything like the House Democrats' bill," McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican said that the $600 weekly boost in unemployment benefits "will not be in the next bill," according to the source. McConnell said otherwise the federal government would be paying people more to remain unemployed than to work. The House Democratic bill would've extended the expanded unemployment benefits through January.

The Senate Republican leader insisted that liability reform be included to minimize lawsuits, calling trial lawyers "vultures."

And he knocked how the Democrats now work, criticizing their rule change to allow remote voting for the first time ever and charging that they're trying to solve a pandemic by giving one person multiple votes. House Republican leaders have recently said the rule change could be unconstitutional, a charge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disputes saying that Supreme Court precedent has shown the chamber can write its own rules.

McConnell also argued that the federal government could not indefinitely borrow and spend to save the economy. He referenced Henry Morgenthau, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury Secretary, who said before World War II that the New Deal programs didn't decrease unemployment but gave the United States "an enormous debt to boot!"

The senate majority leader said that Congress needs to track the effects of the multi-trillion dollar legislation it has already passed before moving forward.

"We need to see growth and that will dictate what we do and when we do it," said McConnell, according to the source.

Other outlines of Republicans' plans for another package have emerged in recent days. During a meeting at the White House earlier this week, McConnell stressed that the next Coronavirus aid package needs to be under $1 trillion, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN -- a stark contrast to the $3 trillion bill recently passed by the House. Axios first reported the figure on Thursday.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

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