McConnell pushes back on 'higher amount' for COVID-19 stimulus

FILE PHOTO: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after the Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the idea of a coronavirus relief package exceeding $1.8 trillion on Thursday, calling his plan for a smaller $500 billion bill an appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My members think what we laid out – a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted – is the best way to go. So that’s what I’m going to put on the floor,” McConnell said during an appearance in Henderson, Kentucky. “It’s what Senate Republicans ... feel like is an appropriate response.”

The top Republican in Congress spoke after President Donald Trump told Fox Business Network that he was willing to offer more than the White House’s current $1.8 trillion proposal to get a bipartisan deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Reporting by David Morgan, Editing by Franklin Paul