23:30 GMT14 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that he would propose a COVID-19 relief bill within days as a starting point to begin negotiations with Democratic Senators before attempting to draft a package that could be approved by both houses of Congress.

    "I’m going to introduce a bill in the next few days that is a starting place that enjoys fairly significant support among Republican senators, probably not everyone, and at that point, we’ll be more specific", McConnell said on Tuesday. "Clearly they have the ability to prevent us from passing anything and that’s been their mindset lately".

    McConnell cited Senate Democrats’ recent refusal to consider a police reform bill drafted by Senator Tim Scott, the chamber’s only black Republican, which prevented Senate-House negotiations on legislation to address protests over African-American suspects killed by police.

    McConnell made no mention of the need to reach a consensus with the Democrat-controlled House, which passed a $3 billion COVID-19 relief bill earlier, before any legislation can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.

    Senate Republicans have rejected the House measure, which they claim is too expensive and loaded with initiatives that are only marginally connected to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

    coronavirus, US Senate, United States
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