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McConnell warns White House against COVID relief deal

Talks between Pelosi, Mnuchin continue Wednesday
McConnell warns White House against COVID relief deal
Posted at 6:07 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 16:08:10-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told fellow Republicans that he's warned the White House not to divide Republicans by sealing a lopsided pre-election COVID-19 relief deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — even as he publicly says he'd slate any such agreement for a vote.

McConnell made his remarks during a private lunch with fellow Republicans on Tuesday, three people familiar with his remarks said, requesting anonymity because the session was private.

The Kentucky Republican appears worried that an agreement between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would drive a wedge between Republicans.

Pelosi and Mnuchin have arrived at a critical phase of their talks if any relief is going to be enacted by Election Day.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said on Twitter that “both sides are serious about finding a compromise" after Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for about 45 minutes on Tuesday.

"Today’s deadline enabled the Speaker and Secretary to see that decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise," Hammill said in a tweet.

According to CNBC, Pelosi and Mnuchin plan to speak again on Wednesday.

"On several open questions, the Speaker and the Secretary called for the committee chairs to work to resolve differences about funding levels and language," Hammill added on Twitter. "With this guidance, the two principals will continue their discussions tomorrow afternoon upon the Secretary's return."