US Senate to Hold Procedural Vote on Stimulus Bill
The U.S. Senate is planning a procedural vote Monday on a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package in an effort to soften the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic.
Senators were set to vote on the parameters of the Republican proposal Sunday, but Democrats halted that vote for more debate.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the draft package is aimed more toward helping large corporations and does little to help workers and health care providers.
“It (the bill) has, for instance, a giant, giant corporate bailout fund with no accountability. You wouldn’t even know if the loans were made until six months later,” he said. “What we have seen is a cutback in what we asked for, for hospitals, doctors, nurses, masks, equipment. We need more money than the Republican majority proposed.”
Democrats say the bill also doesn’t provide help to states and local governments.
“They’re going broke,” Schumer said. “They have huge, huge new expenses. We need to make those better. And so the bottom line is very simple. We are fighting for a better bill because this bill will have an effect for a very, very long time.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for a quick vote. He argues if this bill does not move forward, more Americans will fall into financial hardship.
“This is not a political opportunity; it’s a national emergency,” he said. “That’s why we have engaged in days of bipartisan talks to get to this point. It’s why it’s time to move forward. Americans don’t need to see us haggling endlessly. They don’t need us to jeopardize all the progress we’ve made over the past several days for the sake of some 11th hour brinkmanship.”
The vote is expected to happen around one 1 p.m. Monday.