Schumer urges Democrats to block Senate Republicans’ coronavirus bill
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on his fellow Democrats to block the Republican coronavirus bill being put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if it doesn’t include Democratic priorities that passed in the House’s HEROES Act.
“During the debate over the CARES Act, it was our unity against a partisan, Republican first draft that allowed for significant improvements to be made, improvements that have benefited millions upon millions of Americans,” Schumer wrote to his colleagues. “I hope we will not have to repeat that process. But we will stand together again if we must.”
Schumer blasted Senate Republicans for failing to deliver another round of coronavirus relief and praised House Democrats for acting back in May.
McConnell is expected to release a much smaller relief bill in the coming days but Schumer says the bill will prioritize corporate special interests over workers and main street businesses and will fail to adequately address the worsening spread of the coronavirus.
“This one-party approach to this legislation is the same approach that delayed the passage of the CARES Act and the subsequent interim emergency relief legislation, failed on policing reform, and it won’t work this time around either,” Schumer said.
McConnell says he wants to work across the aisle on the bill.
“We can’t pass the bill in the Senate without the Democrats and we’re going to talk to them as well,” he said.
One of the biggest issues Schumer has with the McConnell bill is a proposal to provide a five-year corporate immunity shield that would limit the liability of businesses related to coronavirus infections.
“It would preempt the laws of all 50 states and grant legal immunity to negligent corporations, nursing homes or others that fail to take reasonable steps to avoid spreading the virus,” Schumer said.
Schumer also attacked President Donald Trump for reportedly working to block funding for additional funding for testing for coronavirus.
“To make matters even worse, the president is reportedly now urging Republicans to block additional funding for testing, a cynical gambit that appears to be part of the president’s efforts to suppress data,” he said.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is reportedly making rounds on Capitol Hill to encourage support of the new coronavirus bill.
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