McConnell dangles aid to states — with a catch

In an interview on Monday, the Senate majority leader said it’s “highly likely” the next coronavirus response bill will aid local governments whose budgets have been decimated by lockdowns and now face spiraling deficits. But to unlock that money, McConnell said he will “insist” Congress limit the liabilities of health care workers, business owners and employees from lawsuits as they reopen in the coming weeks and months.

“We probably will do another bill. What I’m saying is it won’t just be about money,” McConnell said. “The next pandemic coming will be the lawsuit pandemic in the wake of this one. So we need to prevent that now when we have the opportunity to do it.”

In acknowledging that states like New York and New Jersey can count on more federal aid in the next massive relief bill, the Kentucky Republican is cracking the door to an agreement with congressional Democrats after taking a hard line with his recent suggestion that states go “the bankruptcy route.”