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McConnell blames election proximity for tough COVID-19 stimulus talks

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks through the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., October 1, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blamed the approaching presidential and congressional elections for the lack of progress in coronavirus stimulus negotiations between the White House and Democrats in Congress.

“We’ve had a real challenge the last few months, getting back to the kind of bipartisan place where we were in March and April. There’s no question that the proximity to the election has made this much more challenging,” McConnell told a press conference in Erlanger, Kentucky.

“We do agree that another rescue package is needed. We have vast differences about how much we should spend,” added McConnell, who has not participated directly in talks aimed at hammering out a bipartisan deal.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama