McConnell Ties Himself In Knots Praising And Criticizing Biden’s COVID Relief

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Kenneth Charles Canterbury Jr. and judicial nominees July 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. The comm... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Kenneth Charles Canterbury Jr. and judicial nominees July 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee met to hear testimony on Canterbury’s nomination as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the nomination of four federal judges. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday shamelessly hyped President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that he opposed, only to pan it as a “windfall” that can’t happen again, all in the same breath.

During a press conference in Murray, Kentucky on Tuesday, McConnell acknowledged that the COVID relief plan that passed along party lines through reconciliation and delivered the President’s first legislative victory in March delivered more money than Republicans were willing to offer.

“It passed on a straight party line vote, not a single member of my party voted for it. So you’re going to get a lot more money,” McConnell said. “I didn’t vote for it, but you’re going to get a lot more money. Cities and counties in Kentucky will get close to $700-800 million.”

Despite saying that his home state received $4 billion as part of the COVID relief plan — noting that the total amount is twice what the state received from last year’s coronavirus relief CARES Act — McConnell warned against another “windfall” passed by a Democrat-led Congress.

“My advice to members of the legislature and other local officials: spend it wisely because hopefully this windfall doesn’t come along again,” McConnell said. “The reason I say hopefully is because I think we’ve floated entirely too much money across the country.”

The remarks by McConnell, who has proclaimed that he is “100 percent” focused on stopping Biden’s agenda, adds to the trend of Republicans who have unabashedly touted elements of the COVID-19 relief package that they voted against.

McConnell’s comments also come as the Senate minority leader tries to cast the President’s plan to not sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless he could do so in “tandem” with a reconciliation bill as an implicit veto threat — a framing that many news outlets adopted and one that has spurred faux GOP outrage. Days after Republicans began their handwringing over a situation they sought to muddle, Biden issued a statement signaling his intent to stay the course on infrastructure by expressing confidence that both the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the reconciliation bill will get to his desk.

Shortly after McConnell’s remarks gained attention on Twitter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called out the Senate minority leader’s bluff.

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