Senate Kills Republicans' Coronavirus Relief Bill

Senate Kills Republicans' Coronavirus Relief Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had brought the bill into the House after talks with Democrats had slowed down more than a month ago. But that would depend largely on the outcome of the elections and who is in control of the White House and Congress next year. Rand Paul (R-KY) voted for the bill, while every Democrat opposed it.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, on the 2020 filing season and COVID-19 recovery. Instead, the GOP has been pushing for a package that's half the size.

The vote also gives vulnerable Senate Republican incumbents something to point to on the campaign trail after the chamber recesses next month until after Election Day, if the parties can't work out a broader deal before then. McConnell said he hopes the Senate can vote on the bill within the week. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. "But it is what it is". Their goal is clear: "No help for American families before the election".

"Senators who share the Democratic leader's toxic attitude, who think the real enemy are their political opponents, may follow his lead and vote 'no.' They can tell American families they care more about politics than helping them".

The Republican leader noted the various ways in which Americans would benefit from the bill, but implied that Democrats withheld aid to Americans to maintain a status quo where people are in need until after they submit their ballots in November's election.

In attacking the request from Democrats for more aid to cities and states, Trump said the "USA is coming back strong!" - a sentiment that other White House officials have expressed in recent days as a way of conveying less desire to pursue a big stimulus package.

As Congress continues to be gridlocked over another coronavirus relief package, Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday urged Democrats to support the limited proposal being pushed by Senate Republicans, saying it would include $105 billion in aid for education.

McConnell crafted the measure to permit his colleagues to go on record in favor of popular provisions such as another round of "paycheck protection" help for smaller businesses, help for schools to reopen and supplemental jobless benefits. It also offers a second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. The new program is estimated to cost almost $258 billion, but the net cost drops to about $112 billion after rescinding unspent SBA funds. As of August, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "about 1.1 million public-sector workers had lost their jobs since February, an estimated 668,000 (59 percent) of them in education".

- $31 billion for development and distribution of vaccines, drugs and other medical supplies, and $16 billion for testing and contact tracing.

The bill includes liability protections for businesses and healthcare facilities and more money for healthcare funding and schools.

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