White House willing to cut a stimulus deal without ‘liability shield,’ breaking with McConnell

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One of the people familiar with the administration’s thinking said the measure was “considered important but not absolutely essential.”

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Friday that the liability shield was McConnell’s priority but that Trump wanted unemployment insurance extended.

“That’s a question for Mitch McConnell … that’s his priority,” McEnany said, when asked if the administration would insist on a liability shield. “This president is very keenly focused on unemployment insurance.”

The dealmaking flexibility conflicts with the ultimatum McConnell has given Democrats that any congressional stimulus package must make it significantly harder for workers and customers to sue employers and businesses for damages related to the coronavirus.

McConnell has said he will not bring up legislation for a vote in the Senate if it does not include the liability measure. “We’re not negotiating over liability protection,” McConnell told CNBC on Tuesday. “We’re not negotiating with Democrats over

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