Democrats and Republicans have been working together to draft Phase 3 of the Chinese Virus relief bill for days. In what turned into many concessions for the Democrats, the bill was co-written by both sides. Things were looking promising for the American people and the markets, who desperately needed relief. Then Nancy Pelosi showed up.
The procedural vote, which wasn’t even the final vote for the bill, needed 60 votes to pass. It received 47 in favor, and 47 opposed. Five Republican senators didn’t vote because they had to be home self-quarantining. One of them was Senator Rand Paul, who tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday.
One Democrat decided to just not show up at all: Senator Bernie Sanders. He instead stayed home in Vermont to hold a virtual campaign event with Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. It was an interesting decision by Sanders to sit the vote out, after screaming at a reporter Wednesday, “I’m dealing with a f—ing global crisis. You know, we’re dealing with.”
In a blow to the economy and the American people, Democrats in full party opposition rejected a bill that would’ve gotten money into the hands of everyday citizens and given the stock markets a boost. As a result, things continued to turn more grim on Wall Street at the opening bell.
The coronavirus relief bill included direct cash payments of $1,200 to eligible Americans, $350 billion in relief for small businesses, as well as $500 billion in loans for larger companies who are in dire need of economic relief. Democrats criticized the bill as a “slush fund” for big industries, but ignored the fact that millions of Americans are employed by such corporations.
By voting down the procedural vote, Democrats skipped a chance of potentially 30 more hours of negotiating that would’ve entailed before the final vote. The bipartisan agreement was there until Nancy Pelosi met with key Senate Democratic leaders Sunday to make them fall in line with what she feared could’ve been a political win for Republicans.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, one of the highest ranked Republican members of the Senate, called out Democrats’ obstruction on Twitter Sunday evening.
“Senate Democrats just blocked a major move to turn this economy around & get ppl back 2work Phase 3 relief package incl recovery checks to help families pay their bills + very strongly beefed up unemployment insurance + resources for our health care system This is NO time 4 politics.”
Democrats are holding the American people hostage over partisan games. It’s time for Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and all Democrats to put their partisan warfare aside for one second so the American people and economy do not crumble from the pandemic.