A Republican attempt to pass a rescue package to support American households and businesses stalled on the Senate floor Thursday.
Senate Democrats blocked the GOP stimulus legislation despite the fact that Republicans secured a majority vote. The so-called skinny stimulus plan would’ve funneled $300 billion to U.S. households and businesses. However, Democrats wanted to spend trillions more. The Republican-controlled Senate voted in 52-47 in favor of the bill, but it needed a 60-vote majority to pass.
The Republican bill would’ve provided Americans with an additional unemployment benefit of $300 per week through December 27. It also included provisions to protect business and health providers from liability claims. Apart from that, it also included funding for testing, vaccines, schools, and childcare.
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An earlier GOP proposal called for $1 trillion of stimulus spending and included another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. However, Republicans cut out the checks to slim down the bill after some conservatives said the $1 trillion price tag was too high. They also added measures to increase access to private schools and offset homeschooling costs. It’s an initiative which the union-beholden Democrats unsurprisingly opposed.
All and all, the legislation would’ve cost $650 billion, but $350 billion in repurposed funds managed to partially offset this. As a result, it would’ve only taken $300 billion to implement the Republican plan. Unfortunately, the effort to deliver badly-needed aid to Americans ended on the Senate floor thanks to the Senate Democrats.
The stalled legislation darkens the outlook for a potential stimulus package before Election Day. Neither side wants to give the other a win, and the American people are caught in the middle of the partisan maneuvering. “My guess is as of now, unless [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi changes her mind and talks to the White House, there’s not going to be anything done,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA.).
Criticisms Against Democrats
Many conservatives believe the Democrats are using widespread economic misery as leverage in their attempts to force through a lengthy legislative agenda that reads more like a wish list than a stimulus package. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News’ Lauren Ingraham that the main objective for Democrats is to hurt the president, at any cost. “Democrats despise this president so much, they want to inflict pain,” McCarthy said just hours after the legislation stalled. “They’d rather watch America suffer than see the president succeed at something.”
McCarthy also criticized the Democrats for their hypocritical approach to lockdowns and other restrictions. He cited several incidents involving prominent Democrats who flaunted lockdown restrictions while simultaneously calling for more restrictions. “They don’t want anyone to have any fun or nobody can do anything, but they don’t want to live by those rules,” McCarthy said. “You watch Nancy Pelosi, no one can get their hair done but her. You watch Governor Pritzker of Illinois, no one can go out but his wife, or in Michigan, you can’t put the boats in but her husband wants to.”
With Election Day less than 2 months away, the partisan battle lines are all but closed. No one wants to give the other side a win so close to November. Therefore, the stimulus stalemate is likely insurmountable. Democrats, who so often claim to be the party of the people, clearly have no qualms about leaving Americans out in the cold if it means furthering their political agenda.