Senate Dems block massive coronavirus stimulus bill

by Jordyn Pair · Mar 23rd, 2020 7:46 am

The Senate failed to pass a "Phase 3" coronavirus bill after Democrats voted against it, arguing that the bill included several "non-starters" and flipped on things like expanded unemployment insurance.

Senators voted 47-47 on the bill after Democrats pushed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to delay the vote to 6 p.m. in an attempt to reach a new agreement.

Many Democrats said the package did not go far enough in providing health care and unemployment aid in Americans and did not put restraints on a $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations. They also called the ban on corporate stock buy-backs weak and complained that the limits on executive pay would only last two years.

Democrats also pushed for food security aid, small business loans, and other measures, saying that the three months of unemployment insurance in the bill was not enough.

The vote moved forward with five GOP senators absent due to self-quarantining.

McConnell blamed Democrats for playing politics and said he would force the vote again.

"The American people are watching this spectacle. I'm told the futures market is down 5%. I'm also told that's when trading stops. So the notion that we have time to play games here with the American economy and the American people is utterly absurd," McConnell said.


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