Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education will distribute just over 2 million face masks to Kentucky schools for teachers and students, paid for by funds earmarked for the state in the CARES Act. McConnell’s tweet announcing the program was met with mostly negative responses from Twitter users who were frustrated that it took so long for the masks to be sent to the state. Meanwhile, in Washington, McConnell has continued to sit out the negotiations between the White House and House Democrats for another stimulus package and is moving towards confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court next week.
The Department of Education and HHS are sending 2,035,195 masks to Kentucky, and they will be distributed by the state’s Department for Public Health, reports WYMT. “Wearing a mask is one of the most important ways each of us can protect ourselves and our loved ones from the coronavirus. I’m grateful to President Trump and his team for directing over two million masks to Kentucky to help our young people learn safely,” McConnell said in a statement.
The senator, who is running for a seventh term in office in November, noted that the CARES Act included $13 billion for Kentucky residents. “As Senate Majority Leader, I’ll continue working to make sure our Commonwealth has the resources we need to keep families safe and continue our responsible economic comeback,” he said.
KENTUCKY KNOWS BETTER!
— Don (@Donalte12) October 24, 2020
On Saturday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,738 new confirmed coronavirus cases, a new record for daily cases in the state. There were eight deaths reported, bringing the death toll to 1,404. The positivity rate is at 5.63% and 95,480 Kentuckians have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic. Just over 1.9 million Kentucky residents have been tested and over 17,700 have recovered.
Forces the @SenateGOP to work on a weekend to confirm what 70% of Americans didn’t want, a SCOTUS judge, but won’t put the time and effort in to pass a COVID Relief bill that would help struggling Americans who are facing economic hardships! @SenateGOP pic.twitter.com/te8UtmUSzm
— SpeakOut (@SpeakOu12168225) October 24, 2020
There still has not been a major coronavirus relief package passed since late March, when the CARES Act was signed. Since then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been in talks for another bill. Those talks continued until the end of the week, although Pelosi said any deal would hinge on President Donald Trump supporting the package himself.
Well I guess better LATE than never. However now many of the school systems have gone only to virtual learning.
— jo (@joverstreet_jo) October 24, 2020
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Republicans have made it clear they are not supporting a package over $1 trillion. McConnell introduced another $500 billion “skinny” bill this week, but Democrats kept it from getting the 60 votes necessary to move forward. The bill was similar to another “skinny” package McConnell proposed in September.
I hope it reaches them. A truckload of community food showed up unannounced in my church’s parking lot yesterday. They nor any local church that could be reached had a location to store it, so needy people in Paris Ky missed out.😢
— Melissa Barlow Bowman (@mcbarlow36) October 24, 2020
McConnell’s bill included more funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which grants loans to struggling small businesses. The bill does not include a second stimulus check. It also includes a $300-per-week federal unemployment benefit, which is half the amount Democrats proposed in their HEROES Act.
What took you a long?
Why aren’t you helping all Americans instead of ramming through Amy??
If you’re such a great party wait till the election results !!
— Triggered By Trump (@TriggerdByTrump) October 24, 2020
The Senate’s main focus in the next few days will be confirming Barrett, barely a month after she was nominated following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. On Friday, McConnell abruptly cut off debating her nomination so there will be a Sunday procedural vote to end a Democratic filibuster. The vote on Barrett’s nomination will be on Monday, reports CNN. She will be confirmed just eight days before the election.