Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: US death toll from coronavirus hits 100 | Virus now in all 50 states | Plans for cash assistance gain steam | Trump gets GOP pushback on stimulus | Shortage of critical supplies hamper health providersOn The Money: Cash assistance for Americans gains steam as coronavirus roils economy | Markets rebound on stimulus promises, Fed action | Trump officials get GOP pushback on stimulusMcConnell wants GOP deal on third coronavirus bill before negotiating with DemocratsMORE (R-Ky.) is coming back to the negotiating table as lawmakers try to craft a mammoth stimulus package. 
The GOP leader, and his caucus, were sidelined during the negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: US death toll from coronavirus hits 100 | Virus now in all 50 states | Plans for cash assistance gain steam | Trump gets GOP pushback on stimulus | Shortage of critical supplies hamper health providersSanders proposes giving ,000 per household during coronavirus crisisMnuchin warns jobless rate could hit 20 percent without federal response: reportMORE and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: US death toll from coronavirus hits 100 | Virus now in all 50 states | Plans for cash assistance gain steam | Trump gets GOP pushback on stimulus | Shortage of critical supplies hamper health providersOn The Money: Cash assistance for Americans gains steam as coronavirus roils economy | Markets rebound on stimulus promises, Fed action | Trump officials get GOP pushback on stimulusThe Pelosi administration MORE (D-Calif.), which resulted in several Senate Republicans vocally opposing the $104 billion package. 
Now, the GOP leader is keeping a tight grip on the formation of a third coronavirus package that could top $1 trillion amid growing concerns that the spread of the virus could bludgeon the economy. 
We need to be in the game when some of these decisions are being made, and try to influence and shape the policies, said Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOn The Money: Cash assistance for Americans gains steam as coronavirus roils economy | Markets rebound on stimulus promises, Fed action | Trump officials get GOP pushback on stimulusCash assistance for Americans gains steam as coronavirus roils economyGOP lukewarm on talk of airline bailoutMORE (R-S.D.), McConnells No. 2. 
We want to have obviously some of our members get their ideas into the mix, he added. 
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Energy: Democratic lawmakers seek emissions reductions in airline bailout | House Dems warn Trump against oil industry bailout | GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil marketGOP lukewarm on talk of airline bailoutGOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil marketMORE (R-Texas), an advisor to McConnell, characterized the strategy as aimed at building consensus and eliminating misunderstanding. 
I just think thats a logical approach to me. It wouldnt make any sense for him to negotiate with Speaker Pelosi and then get something that he couldnt get Republicans to agree to, he said. 
The decision is a hard shift from how the second coronavirus bill came together, when  McConnell said that he was deferring to Mnuchin to negotiate with Pelosi. The Treasury secretary and House Speaker have become a crucial pair of dealmakers in an increasingly divided Washington; they also clinched deals on the budget and funding the government. 
I think that the Secretary of the Treasury’s going to have ball control for the administration. And I expect that will speak for us as well. And we’re hoping that he and the Speaker can pull this together, McConnell said before the two reached their deal.
The end result was a bill that was panned by several Senate Republicans, who felt like they left out of the negotiations. 
Right now, the plan around here is basically just to start shoveling money out of a helicopter, and the most important debate is whether Democrats or Republicans get to shovel the money first, said Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseHealth groups vulnerable to cyberattacks as coronavirus crisis ramps upTop US health agency suffers cyberattackMcConnell cancels Senate break over coronavirusMORE (R-Neb.),  who was one of eight Republicans who voted no.
McConnell acknowledged that some Republicans were unhappy. Republicans briefly considered merging the second and third packages, but were worried about slowing down the bill given the economic turmoil and spread of the virus. 
My counsel to them is to gag and vote for it anyway even if they think it has some shortcomings and to address those shortcomings in the bill that we’re in the process of crafting, he said.
McConnell told reporters repeatedly during a press conference this week that the process for the third coronavirus package will start with Senate Republicans, who would then negotiate with the administration. Once they have an agreement, they will then start negotiating with Democrats, whose support will be needed to pass something through the House and Senate. 
First Senate Republicans and the administration are going to try to reach an agreement on what we think is best for what could best be described as phase three. Then, the Senate being the Senate, we will sit down with our Democratic counterparts and see what we can agree to, he said. 
Pressed on why he wouldnt reach out to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerPelosi calls for expanding paid leave in next stimulus packageTrump to propose 0B stimulus for coronavirus responseUnited Airlines chief: Virus impact ‘much worse’ than 9/11MORE (D-N.Y.), he added: I think the best way to proceed is the way I outlined. Then we’ll have a clear indication of where most of the Republicans are, and we’ll sit down and talk to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and reach an agreement. 
There is some communication with Democrats just not from McConnell. Mnuchin has been in touch with both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about the third phase of the legislative response to the coronavirus. 
Schumer spoke with Secretary Mnuchin yesterday afternoon via phone about the third phase of the coronavirus bill and Schmers people-focused proposal, a spokesman for Schumer said. 
Schumer is offering his own $750 billion proposal that includes $400 billion toward programs related to pandemic response; and $300 billion toward a social safety net; and other policy changes, like a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. 
He knocked McConnell for taking a GOP-only approach, arguing that it would only delay a final bipartisan deal. 
The plan leader McConnell laid out will slow things down in a significant and dramatic way and it doesn’t start out in a bipartisan way and above all, this should be bipartisan, Schumer said. 
But McConnell has created four task forces to draft and negotiate the third coronavirus package: Health, tax, small business and industry bailout. 
He offered an outline of the efforts underway: Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill’s Morning Report – Trump shifts his tone on coronavirusCoronavirus package hits roadblocks amid GOP oppositionStates lead, unevenly, on coronavirus responseMORE (R-Fla.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell: Discussions underway on additional coronavirus billsSusan Collins: Trump should ‘step back’ from coronavirus messagingThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Campaigns confront reality of coronavirusMORE (R-Maine) are working on assistance for small businesses; Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyLawmakers welcome Treasury move to extend tax deadlinesMcConnell: Discussions underway on additional coronavirus billsGOP senator announces intention to subpoena firm tied to BurismaMORE (R-Iowa) is spearheading the tax angle; Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMcConnell wants GOP deal on third coronavirus bill before negotiating with DemocratsMcConnell: Discussions underway on additional coronavirus billsTrump formally nominates Kenneth Weinstein as ambassador to JapanMORE (R-Tenn.) is exploring how to bolster the public health response including the development of vaccines; and Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerSenators balance coronavirus action with risks to healthMcConnell: Discussions underway on additional coronavirus billsHillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter dismantle Russian interference campaign targeting African Americans | YouTube to allow ads on coronavirus videos | Trump signs law banning federal funds for Huawei equipmentMORE (R-Miss.) is looking at impacted industries.  
Senators involved in the groups, which includes key committee chairmen, presented their progress during a closed-door lunch on Wednesday, and are expected to turn over their work product by Thursday. Among the ideas being batted around by Senate Republicans is cash assistance for Americans, expanded unemployment and help for impacted industries like airlines.
Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMcConnell cancels Senate break over coronavirusPaul, Lee urging Trump to kill House FISA dealDemocrats press FEC pick to recuse himself from Trump mattersMORE (R-Mo.), another member of GOP leadership, added that the strategy was reflective of Republicans wanting a larger role after deferring the second coronavirus package to Mnuchin. 
He wants to know what our bargaining position, he said of McConnell. There’s [also] an interest on the part of our members to be more involved in this discussion than we were in the last couple. 
And the GOP leader wants to move a third coronavirus bill, in his words, at warp speed. 
GOP senators are hoping to vote as soon as this weekend, but at least by next week, underscoring the pressure they are under to move quickly to reassure both constituents and the market. 
Minutes after the Senate passed the second coronavirus package, McConnell made it clear he wanted senators to stay around even though the scheduling for next votes is in flux. 
Well continue to work on the next bill to respond to the crisis, and I want to repeat again the Senates going to stay in session until we finish phase three, he said. 
Republicans hope, shortly, to have a consolidated position, along with the administration, and we intend to sit down with our Democratic colleagues and I would recommend senators stay around, close, he said. Just how long it will take to get through these steps is unclear, but as everyone knows, we are moving rapidly because the situation demands it.