Newest Senate COVID-19 stimulus package joins the growing list of failed legislation attempts
In a 52 to 47 vote, Senate Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a compromise on an additional COVID-19 relief package on September 10, 2020. This is only one of several attempts since the passage of the March 2020 CARES Act to introduce a new economic stimulus bill to further address the effects coronavirus has had on the entire nation. Both political parties in the House of Representatives and the Senate have been accused of posturing or failing to timely address the need for additional legislation to alleviate the economic pressures felt throughout the country.
The most recent legislation, introduced by Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was considerably scaled back when compared to the assistance provided under the CARES Act and the assistance proposed under prior economic packages. The failed bill was expected to cost around $500 billion, in comparison to the House Democrats’ proposed $3 trillion HEROES Act and, according to McConnell, was designed to be a “targeted proposal” which “focused on some of the very most urgent healthcare, education, and economic issues.” The new legislation would have provided an additional $300 per week for unemployment insurance benefits, an additional $257 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, and $105 billion for schools.
Senate Democrats asserted that the scaled down bill did not provide nearly enough assistance and was mere “showboating” by Senate Republicans, questioning why McConnell would not bring the HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives to the Senate floor and allow for full debate. It is now unclear if any relief package will successfully pass through Congress before the November election. We will continue to follow Congress’ response to COVID-19 and provide updates and they become available.