UPDATED 6:00 PM PT – Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he’s focusing on his legislative duties as election uncertainty continues.
On Capitol Hill Tuesday, McConnell dismissed reporters accusing him of indulging President Trump over allegations of voter fraud.
He said he plans to tackle the Senate’s unfinished business, which includes an omnibus spending bill and maybe another coronavirus relief bill.
McConnell signaled he will stay out of anything that has to do with the presidential election to let that process run its course under the Constitution.
“The Electoral College will meet, and then we’ll have the inauguration,” the Senate Majority Leader said. “But I am going to concentrate on what we are trying to do here in the remainder of this Congress.”
With just weeks left until the new Congress is sworn in, lawmakers in the upper chamber are expected to focus their efforts on funding the federal government by the December 11th deadline. A failure to do so would result in a government shutdown.
Senators went back to Capitol Hill to kickstart the lame-duck session with a hefty to-do list ahead of them.
McConnell stated that targeted pandemic relief is what the American people need.
“In any event, we will need to fund the government, reach agreement with the House on the National Defense Authorization Act and confirm more thoroughly qualified nominees,” the Kentucky senator noted. “So, I welcome all my colleagues back to the chamber and I look forward to finishing this year strong. Our states and our country are counting on us.”
However, talks of a fifth coronavirus stimulus package remain at a standstill as McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fail to find common ground over funding.
While both have expressed interest in passing a relief bill before the end of the year, their priorities greatly differ. Democrats have pressed for a plan with a hefty price tag of over $2 trillion and House Speaker Pelosi still refuses to budge on her stimulus proposal.
McConnell cited the recent October jobs report for the reason why the smaller COVID-19 relief package makes more sense than the larger one proposed by Democrat leaders.
UPDATE: We are proud to announce, along with @BioNTech_Group, that our mRNA-based #vaccine candidate has, at an interim analysis, demonstrated initial evidence of efficacy against #COVID19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 9, 2020
This came just a day after pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced their coronavirus vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, which McConnell called “huge good news” as the nation continues to reel from the pandemic.