McConnell says infrastructure will not be included in new coronavirus package

McConnell also said the next package must include liability protection for businesses.

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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on April 21, 2020
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on April 21, 2020
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Updated: April 28, 2020 - 7:51pm

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said that he will not support infrastructure spending within the next round of coronavirus relief legislation, though he did indicate that legislators will work on passing an infrastructure bill separately.

The Kentucky Republican told Fox News's Neil Cavuto that any coronavirus legislation must directly pertain to the pandemic. 

"Infrastructure is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic that we're all experiencing and trying to figure out how to go forward," the top Senate Republican said. 

McConnell pointed to the debt the country has recently racked up during the pandemic and said he's against piling on vast sums in new debt by including infrastructure in the latest recovery package.

"So I agree with the president, infrastructure is important," McConnell said. "I just don't believe that we should be borrowing, adding to the national debt, we've added $2.8 trillion dollars to the national debt in the last month, I just don't think that's the path to getting an infrastructure bill."

McConnell said the Senate will approve a "more modest infrastructure bill" soon.

He said that in order for any stimulus to pass the Senate it must include liability protection for businesses reopening in the aftermath of the health scare — he described this provision as a "red line" and said the Senate will not approve the legislation unless it is included. 

Asked about McConnell and the infrastructure issue, President Trump on Tuesday noted that many Republicans would like to have separate legislation.

"I think Mitch is looking at it, as I do to an extent, as the infrastructure, he likes infrastructure, we all do, we need to rebuild our country," the president said, going on to speak about eight trillion dollars spent in the Middle East that drained financial resources making them unavailable to be spent on U.S. infrastructure. 

"We want to do infrastructure, but a lot of people, a lot of the Republicans, would like to keep that as a separate bill," Trump said.