Democrats blocked a Senate Republican proposal on Thursday that would provide aid to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate Republican measure failed to pass through the cloture vote, with 52 Republicans in favor of the motion to invoke cloture and 47 Democrats against the motion. Republicans would have needed 60 votes to invoke cloture and vote on the legislation.
The Democrats’ blocking of the bill puts the coronavirus negotiations back at a standstill. Democrats wanted a more expensive coronavirus package of about two trillion, whereas many Republicans wanted a more targeted relief bill of about $1 trillion.
“We’re going to vote on policy,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Thursday before the vote. “Today, every senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to, or they can send families nothing. Nothing.”
“This bill is not going to happen because it is so emaciated, so filled with poison pills, so partisanly designed. It was designed to fail,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Thursday.
Republicans quickly blamed the Democrats’ lack of bipartisanship and heavy-handed tactics for blocking the Senate coronavirus relief bill.
“Once again, Democrats have hung the American people out to dry. Republicans proposed targeted relief for those hardest hit by the virus. A majority of the Senate supported it,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the Senate Republican Conference chairman, said in a statement on Thursday after the vote.
“Democrats clearly have different goals in mind. Democrats have shown that they stand for political games, for political gain. Republicans will continue to fight for the American people,” he added.
“Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked even consideration of this bill. Their strategy is clear,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said in a statement on Thursday after the vote. “They believe that passing nothing benefits them politically and they’re determined to stop any relief from moving forward. It’s shameful, but what we’ve come to expect from Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said after the vote:
Democrats blocked extended unemployment benefits, another stimulus check, $100 billion for schools, and money for more testing. Republicans have repeatedly tried to negotiate, and each time the other side refuses. Democrats are playing politics while lives are being lost, and they should be ashamed.
Jesse Hunt, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said in a statement on Thursday:
Senate Democrats continue to cause a reoccurring nightmare for millions of Americans who need additional COVID relief. They have once again placed more value on election-year politics than delivering critical relief during a global pandemic and economic recession. While Republicans have offered a myriad of solutions, Senate Democrats will not come to the table for anything less than an extreme liberal wish list. The people who lose because of these partisan antics are the working families that need relief the most.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said, “Americans need virus relief, but Democrats just blocked it because it didn’t contain their own radical agenda. It’s unacceptable to hold the health and livelihood of Americans hostage over an ideological, far-left wishlist”:
Americans need virus relief, but Democrats just blocked it because it didn’t contain their own radical agenda.
It’s unacceptable to hold the health and livelihood of Americans hostage over an ideological, far-left wishlist.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) September 10, 2020
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.