McConnell eyes virus aid as evictions, benefits cuts loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Congress bracing for the next coronavirus aid package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is outlining Republican priorities. The GOP’s top priority is a five-year liability protection to shield doctors, schools, businesses and others from COVID-related lawsuits. McConnell is also considering a fresh round of direct payments targeted at those earning $40,000 a year or less. He is eyeing a $1 trillion package. Democrats propose up to $3 trillion. Congress is away for a two-week recess, but the contours of the debate are taking shape before lawmakers resume session July 20. Deadlines for many programs expire by the end of the month.