Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause Kentucky, a group that advocates for accountability and equity in government, has stood opposite McConnell on most issues for decades, specifically campaign finance. He told Salon that Forcht and McConnell likely have a broader long-term goal, and may be trying to wrap otherwise untenable liability protections in the bunting of the pandemic.
“These liability protections might help someone like Forcht, but many more people who may be accidentally injured, they’re sort of out of luck,” Beliles said.
Indeed, McConnell wants the shield to last for five years, longer than even some of his Republican colleagues, though last week he appeared to back off. If Republicans and Democrats can’t come together on a package by midnight on Friday, the government will shut down, with only a month to go until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“I’m hoping that maybe now, with Biden coming in, [McConnell] can do everything right for this issue that affects the needy in this country,” Beliles said. “I know we really need it, the people of Kentucky need it.”
“I guess I sound like an optimist, in terms of cooperation between the Democrats and Republicans,” Beliles added. “But if we’re this close, I don’t want to offend him.”
Neither the Forcht Group nor McConnell’s office replied to Salon’s requests for comment.