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McConnell hints that COVID-19 relief package might wait till early 2021

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hinted on Friday that the long-delayed second coronavirus economic relief package might be delayed until the beginning of the new year.

When asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about the legislative agenda during the next session of Congress, presuming the GOP maintains control of the Senate after November 3, McConnell drifted to coronavirus relief.

Read the full interview transcript here.

“We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion dollar Nancy Pelosi package,” said the Kentuckian, referring to the package that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed back in May.

“I think that’ll be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year,” he added. “We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the Coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college.”

The first economic relief package was passed by both houses and signed by the President back in March. A second package has been stalled since the summer and pressure has been mounting for both parties to agree to some form of a deal so that the tens of millions of unemployed Americans can get their stimulus checks in the mail.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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