With debate over the next round of federal aid at a stalemate in Washington, Kentucky leaders on both sides of the aisle are warning of dire consequences the longer the discussion stretches on.
With key elements of previous rescue packages beginning to expire, Republicans and Democrats remain divided. NBC News reported Thursday a trillion dollars still separates the plans put forward by the parties.
Sen. Mitch McConnell argued Democrats are the ones stalling bills that would extend relief for out-of-work Americans.
"Another week that the Speaker of the House and the Democratic leader has spent stonewalling the president's team in talks and holding out for ideological pet projects with no relationship whatsoever to the COVID crisis," the senior senator lamented.
But Democratic leaders insist Republicans are trying to whittle down benefits as much as possible, including a $600 weekly unemployment boost. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has said, in addition to state and local government relief, the bill must continue to bolster the out-of-work benefits.
"I know there's some argument about $400 or $600," the Democrat told reporters Thursday. "Listen, these dollars right now are continuing consumer activity in our economy, and if we want this recession to be short, it's necessary."
Without help for state and local governments, Beshear has repeatedly warned the "largest spending cuts in Kentucky history" loom.
Although McConnell said his party and ther administration have sought to offer piecemeal compromises that would continue benefits, even for just a week, he said Democrats have so far refused. Democrats, meanwhile, say the aid should be comprehensive, and point to a $3 trillion package the House passed back in May.