Senate Democrats Block Coronavirus Stimulus Package

New York  — Democrats in the Senate voted to block the passage of a coronavirus stimulus package Thursday after months of stalled negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

Senate Democrats Block Coronavirus Stimulus Package/ Getty

The vote was 52-47, and the measure needed 60 votes to pass. The $500 billion bill would include a federal unemployment benefit, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and additional money for more coronavirus testing. If the bill was passed, money would have been directed to schools. Every Democrat voted against the stimulus package. The only Republican who voted against it was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“Every Senate Democrat just voted against hundreds of billions of dollars of COVID-19 relief. They blocked money for schools, testing, vaccines, unemployment insurance, and the Paycheck Protection Program. Their goal is clear: No help for American families before the election,” McConnell said in a tweet after the vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would be voting on the coronavirus stimulus Wednesday, saying “We have put together a new targeted proposal containing several of the most urgent and most popular policies that would help Americans right now. And tomorrow the whole Senate will vote on it,” on the Senate floor.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said August 26 that he reached out to Pelosi to restart negotiations for a phase 4 stimulus package. In an interview with Politico, Meadows said he had his staff contact Pelosi’s chief of staff about starting up another round of discussion for a coronavirus stimulus package, adding that he does not expect to hear back from her.

“I actually had my staff reach out again yesterday to Speaker Pelosi’s chief of staff,” Meadows said.

“It’s really been Speaker Pelosi really driving this train as a conductor more so than really anybody,” Meadows added. “And I think privately she says she wants a deal and publicly she says she wants a deal, but when it comes to dealing with Republicans and the administration, we haven’t seen a lot of action.” 

In late July, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House would remain in session until a deal on a stimulus package is reached, but that did not happen. There are now no House votes until Sept. 14, and members will have 24 hours notice to return for any votes related to coronavirus.

Schumer and Pelosi have been against any “skinny” legislation that is lower than $3 trillion.

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