Democrats defeat Senate GOP COVID-19 relief bill

Democrats defeat Senate GOP COVID-19 relief bill

The Republican leader noted the various ways in which Americans would benefit from the bill, but implied that Democrats withheld aid to Americans to maintain a status quo where people are in need until after they submit their ballots in November's election.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY, though, accused McConnell of "looking for political cover" and said the package doesn't go far enough.

The failure significantly increases the prospect USA lawmakers will not pass a relief package before the November 3 election.

The Senate rejected Republicans' latest coronavirus relief proposal Thursday, though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have strengthened their hand in bipartisan negotiations with a display of GOP unity. All the present Democrats opposed it, while conservative Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast the only GOP "nay" vote.

Key features of the smaller GOP bill include a $300 boost in weekly unemployment insurance benefits through December 27, and a revamped Paycheck Protection Program offering a "second draw" of loans for hard-hit businesses. The Democratic vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, was campaigning in Miami and missed the vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced their opposition to the bill earlier this week, dooming its prospects in the Senate.

"It's a vote for senators to say whether they want to move forward toward huge amounts of relief for kids, for jobs, for health care, or whether they are happier doing absolutely nothing", McConnell said.

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Senate GOP leaders expressed optimism about the vote after a Wednesday caucus lunch.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, walks to his office from the Senate floor, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

McConnell and other Republicans have accused Democrats of holding up additional relief in an effort to hurt President Trump and other Republicans when voters head to the polls.

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley, a Republican, said that while it was "sad" that no deal is likely to get done, the impact will be "a lot less" than a couple weeks ago amid signs of an improving economy.

"So, the idea that Democrats - who passed a comprehensive relief package through the House almost four months ago - are the cause of delay and obstruction is ridiculous. The record shows it". According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates remain high, with 29.6 million Americans filing claims to receive government benefit payments.

So far, the coronavirus has led to the deaths of almost 191,000 people in the United States and over 900,000 globally. The also home to a world-leading 6.3 million coronavirus infections, almost one-quarter of the more than 27.3 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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