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McConnell blasts COVID relief bill as 'wildly out of proportion' with America's needs

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The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by the House is “a wildly out-of-proportion response to where the country is at the moment,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told “The Story” Wednesday. 

“This $1.9 trillion bill is the same size of the bill we passed last April, right in the middle of the pandemic,” McConnell told host Martha MacCallum. “This is not the same country we had one year ago. Only 9% of this $1.9 trillion is related to health care, and less than 1% of this $1.9T bill is related to vaccines.”

McConnell added that money from previous aid bills still has not been spent and noted that “vaccines are going out, the economies are opening up,” making it hard to justify the size of the bill.

Despite his criticism, McConnell said he suspected the bill would narrowly pass the Senate, with moderate Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona supporting it and Vice President Kamala Harris potential breaking a 50-50 tie.

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“Any amount we can reduce the size of this is a good thing for the country,” he added hopefully. “I think there’s at least a chance that one or two Democrats could join all of us and spend a little bit less.”

Turning to former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, McConnell told MacCallum that he “didn’t watch it, but I think the important thing the American people expect from us is to stand up to this left-wing administration that’s taken the country in the wrong direction. We’re dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past.”

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McConnell also defended Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a moderate who both voted to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial last month and was the only Republican to oppose Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court– both of which drew the ex-president’s ire.

“Absolutely we support Senator Murkowski. We support all of our Republican incumbents,” he insisted. “She’s in very strong shape in her home state of Alaska. There’s nobody [who’s] going to come close to beating Lisa Murkowski when she runs for reelection next year.”

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