Mitch McConnell put a provision in the stimulus that expedites FDA approval of a product in his state
Sen. Mitch McConnell, photo by Gage Skidmore

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief stimulus package contains a number of vital provisions to help the American people. But as with most bills of its size and complexity, it is also loaded with small giveaways to help key senators serve special interests in their states.

According to Politico, one of the strangest such provisions, relating to sunscreen, appears to be for the benefit of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

"A provision for the FDA to approve 'innovative' sunscreens — that happen to be made in Florence, Ky., by L’Oreal — appeared in the bill, which was steered in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky," reported Caitlin Emma, Jennifer Scholtes, and Theodoric Meyer.

As the bill's details were wrangled, Republicans frequently went public to argue that Democrats were holding up the bill to try to force through pork-barrel spending — even though many of their demands, including funding for mail-in election ballots, served a genuine purpose in giving Americans more options to practice social distancing.