Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been careful to maintain his distance from the negotiations between White House officials and Democratic leaders on coronavirus relief legislation.
McConnell’s decision not to participate directly in talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Democratic leaders has struck some colleagues as odd.
Senate Republicans say McConnell has proceeded cautiously because any deal that emerges is likely to divide the Senate GOP conference. They note the GOP leader has made it a practice in recent years to avoid taking up issues that divide Republicans if possible.
“You got 20 Republicans who are not on board,” said a Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss why the GOP leader is keeping his distance from the talks.