The Senate voted 47-47 on a $1.8 trillion bill to shore up the economy during the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, far short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who wrote the bill Saturday night, vowed Sunday night to bring it up for a vote again at 9:45 Monday morning, repeatedly daring Democrats to vote against it again as the stock market plummets further. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said no. Negotiations continued overnight.
Republicans are “throwing caution to the wind for average workers and people on Main Street and going balls to the wall for people on Wall Street,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday. Schumer laid out most of the Democratic concerns about the legislation, which The Washington Post calls “by far the largest financial rescue ever attempted by Congress,” earning a three-word response from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Blah blah blah https://t.co/zkJ1fsKMGc
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) March 23, 2020
But Democrats weren’t the only ones concerned that the legislation gives too much to large corporations while demanding too little in return. “Any relief for big corporations must limit executive compensation, ban stock buybacks, and require companies to pay back loans w/ interest. Or I’m not voting for it,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted. Democrats voiced special concern about the $500 billion available to large companies with little oversight, including $425 million to be doled out at the discretion of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the recipients able to shield their identities for six months.
“We’re not here to create a slush fund for Donald Trump and his family, or a slush fund for the Treasury Department to be able to hand out to their friends,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Sunday. Democrats also want the funds contingent on companies retaining 90 percent of their workers, not just “to the extent practicable,” as McConnell’s legislation allows. New York Times economic columnist Binyamin Appelbaum found that point the most baffling.
https://news.yahoo.com/senate-halts-1-8 ... 00364.html
A key Senate procedural vote to move ahead with an economic stimulus plan failed for a second time on Monday afternoon over Democratic opposition, a development that will ratchet up tensions on Capitol Hill as lawmakers attempt to reach a consensus deal to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Senate Democrats lined up against the vote to defeat it, just as they did Sunday when an earlier attempted procedural vote failed. Democrats have argued that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should not be holding what they have called “arbitrary” votes while negotiators are still attempting to reach a bipartisan deal.
The vote tally was 49-46 with a largely party line vote.
Doug Jones, a moderate Alabama Democrat up for reelection, voted with Republicans to advance the stimulus bill. He voted “no” in the first procedural vote that took place Sunday.
Jones told CNN that he was “embarrassed” by the political games he said both sides are playing. The Democratic senator said that negotiators had made “a lot of progress,” but that McConnell shouldn’t have forced the vote while negotiations are still ongoing.
One key holdup appears to still be roughly $500 billion in funds for loans and loan guarantees for distressed companies, states and localities without enough guidelines or oversight to satisfy Democrats. They are seeking to ensure that any bailout for large companies will primarily benefit workers. But pushback from Democrats has centered on not only the substance of the legislation, but on the process that Republicans used to come up with it as well, arguing that they were locked out of negotiations at the start.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/23/poli ... index.html