Trump and McConnell headed toward clash over coronavirus spending

Trump supports another massive rescue package as the pandemic takes a sledgehammer to the economy six months before Election Day. But McConnell is slamming on the brakes, responding to rising opposition from his conference after nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus spending approved since March spiked the debt to $24.6 trillion. The Kentucky Republican is determined not to get boxed in by any deal negotiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and an administration comfortable with deficits.

“We’ve got to take a pause, here,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune told the Washington Examiner on Friday. The South Dakota Republican confirmed that GOP senators have been voicing hostility to more expensive rescue packages during private, members-only conference calls held over the past several days. But to the extent Trump wants to move forward, Thune said House Democrats should take a backseat in the negotiations.

“The engine that ought to be driving this is the White House and the Republican Senate majority,” he said.