McConnell says business protection a condition for next COVID bill

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters after it was announced U.S. congressional leaders and the White House agreed on nearly $500 billion more in coronavirus relief for the U.S. economy, bringing to nearly $3 trillion the amount allocated to deal with the crisis, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday doubled down on his demand that Congress protect businesses from coronavirus-related liabilities in its next legislative package for combating the pandemic.

“We’re going to insist on this reform, which is not related to money, as a condition for going forward,” McConnell told Fox News Radio. He said liability protection should apply to businesses that have remained in operation during the outbreak as well as those now looking to reopen.

“We’re willing to discuss the way forward, provided we have protections for the brave people who’ve been on the front lines,” McConnell said.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama