Democrats Block COVID Relief Efforts Again

‘Essentially What They’re Saying Is That We Would Rather Have Zero--Zero Dollars For The American People Than’ Advance Things Both Parties Agree On


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Today, we are going to vote. Every Senator will be counted. Should we move forward with a floor process to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars more for kids, jobs, and healthcare? Should we at least vote to move forward and have this debate out in the open? Or do our Democratic colleagues prefer to hide behind closed doors and refuse to help families before the election?” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/10/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “Republicans have tried repeatedly to build on the CARES Act and get more help out the door to American families. But Democrats have blocked us at every turn…. Today, we are going to vote to extend the additional federal unemployment insurance. Will Democrats proudly vote against that? Thanks to Senator Collins and Chairman Rubio, we are going to vote on a whole second round of the PPP for hard-hit businesses. Will Democrats vote against that? … Thanks to Chairman Alexander and Senator Blunt, we’re going to vote on an incredibly robust package for education and healthcare, to get kids back in school safely and then defeat this virus through science. We’ll be voting on $105 billion for education, more than House Democrats put in their bill, billions for testing and tracing, and even more support for vaccines. And thanks to a number of our colleagues including Senators Ernst and Loeffler, there is new support for childcare, plus other arrangements like homeschooling thanks to Senator Cruz. Are Democrats really going to refuse to fund K-12 schools and childcare in a pandemic because they’re afraid Republicans might get some credit?” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/10/2020)

SENATE MAJORITY WHIP JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “I think we all know that the Democrats, as the Leader pointed out, have decided that it’s in their best interest to try and use this as a political issue and have been unwilling to come to the table to negotiate with Republicans on something that actually could get passed, could get signed into law, that is a realistic proposal. And essentially what they’re saying is that we would rather have zero--zero dollars for the American people than work with the Republicans on a targeted, fiscally responsible bill that is realistic. And so that’s where we are today …” (Sen. Thune, Press Conference, 9/09/2020)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Republican Conference Chairman: “[A]ll of us have been listening to our constituents back home. We’ve come back to Washington and what we heard from home is we want to make sure our kids can get back to school so they don’t fall further behind. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say no. What we hear from our folks back home is we need additional paycheck protection money to keep paychecks going for small businesses. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say no. We need money for testing and for treatment and for vaccines. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say no.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Conference, 9/09/2020)


Every Present Senate Democrat Voted To Block Moving Forward On A Targeted COVID Relief Bill

46 Democrats voted to block Senate action on the relief bill. (S.178, Roll Call Vote #168: Motion Rejected: R: 52-1; D: 0-44; I: 0-2, 9/10/2020)

The Hill: “Senate Democrats block GOP relief bill” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Relief Bill,” The Hill, 9/10/2020)


Senate Democrats Voted To Block: Extending Additional Federal Unemployment Insurance, More PPP Assistance For Small Businesses, Funding For Schools And Universities To Reopen, And More Money For Testing And Vaccine Development

Extended Additional Federal Unemployment Insurance: “Would offer federal unemployment benefits of $300 through the week ending December 27 … Payments would be retroactive to the end of July, when the original $600 weekly supplement expired.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

Second Round Of Paycheck Protection Program Assistance For Small Businesses: “Would allow some small businesses to apply for a second loan from the Paycheck Protection Program. That would be limited to those with fewer than 300 employees that have seen a drop of at least 35% of their revenue during the first or second quarter of 2020. It would also reduce the amount a borrower can receive from $10 million to $2 million and gives businesses more flexibility on how they spend the money.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

Funding For Schools And Universities To Reopen: “Would provide $105 billion in education funds … It would also provide money for school choice scholarships that parents can use to send their child to a public or private school outside their home district and fund grants to eligible child care providers so that they can pay for cleaning supplies, safety equipment and other expenses.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

Liability Protections For Businesses, Schools, Hospitals, And Nonprofits: “Liability protections for businesses, hospitals, churches and schools against some COVID-related personal injury claims.” (“Senate GOP Introduces Slimmed-Down COVID-19 Relief Bill That Democrats Vow To Block,” USA Today, 9/08/2020)

More Funding For Vaccines And Testing: “$20 billion for the manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics; $6 billion to prepare for, distribute, administer, and track coronavirus vaccines; and $16 billion that would go almost entirely to states, localities, health service providers, and other groups for testing, contact tracing, and surveillance.” (Bloomberg, 8/18/2020)

Relief For Farmers And Fishermen: “For farmers, it includes $20 billion in relief and for fishers, $500 million in federal assistance.” (“Senate GOP Introduces Slimmed-Down COVID-19 Relief Bill That Democrats Vow To Block,” USA Today, 9/08/2020)

Postal Service Assistance: “Would forgive a $10 billion loan to the US Postal Service under the March CARES Act, the more than $2 trillion relief package passed earlier this year. The USPS would have to meet certain criteria to have the loan forgiven.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)


Speaker Pelosi Summed Up Democrats’ All-Or-Nothing Approach: ‘Don’t Be Misled By Thinking, Oh, Well, A Little Bit Is Better Than Nothing. No, It Isn’t’

MSNBC’s ANDREA MITCHELL: “Well, is it better to go forward with some...”
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “No, it isn’t. Now, let me -- thank you so much for that question, because I hear it a lot. And, clearly, it springs from all the good intentions we all have to help people as soon as we can. … So, don’t be misled by thinking, oh, well, a little bit is better than nothing. No, it isn’t.” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 9/09/2020)


And Sen. Schumer Is More Focused On Bitter Partisanship Than Coming To A Bipartisan Solution

REPORTER: “Is the perfect the enemy of the good here?”
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “No. It--the Republicans are the enemy of the good.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 9/09/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19, Senate Democrats, Small Business, Appropriations, Education, Health Care