McConnell blasts Democrats for blocking COVID relief bill
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lit into Democrats for playing games with coronavirus relief after the minority party killed a GOP relief package aimed at giving help to Americans while Congress is gridlocked on a broader aid package.
“These challenges that are clearly necessary to be challenged, tackled, should be done on a bipartisan basis, and need to be done now,” McConnell told Fox News. “It makes you believe that they don’t want to do another proposal. They want to wait until after the election and play games with this.”
The GOP bill that was introduced by McConnell included close to $300 billion in federal aid as well as an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits to Americans that would run through Dec. 27.
The bill also extended the popular Paycheck Protection Program funds to small businesses worth $258 billion. Additional provisions included $105 billion for schools and colleges, and new liability protections to stop lawsuits against businesses from employees or customers who contract the virus.
“Every Senate Democrat just voted against hundreds of billions of dollars of COVID-19 relief. They blocked money for schools, testing, vaccines, unemployment insurance, and the Paycheck Protection Program. Their goal is clear: No help for American families before the election,” McConnell tweeted.
In order to pass, the legislation needed 60 votes. It failed along party lines with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) joining all Senate Democrats in opposing the bill.
“What part of this bill are they opposed to?” McConnell asked. “What we tried to do was to craft a package that underscored things we supposedly agree on: Kids in school, replenishing the popular small business loan program, which is out of money, more money for hospitals and covering unemployment insurance for another six months.”
The Senate Leader accused the Democrats of voting against the bill because it didn’t spend enough money.
“What they’re saying is, ‘We won’t pass things that we are even in favor of unless you give us trillions more,'” McConnell asserted. “The national debt is already the size of our economy for the first time since World War II. We’re not going to squander funds here. We want to narrowly target the needs of the American people. That’s what this vote is about.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Republican bill didn’t go far enough and was designed to fail.
“The cynical Republican COVID bill was emaciated, inadequate, and designed to fail. Americans need help now, and Congress needs to respond in a way that meets the nation’s very real and urgent needs,” Schumer tweeted.
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