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GOP coronavirus relief bill sinks in Senate

Senate Democrats blocked the GOP’s “skinny” coronavirus relief bill Thursday.

The failed 52-47 vote highlighted the partisan gridlock that has all attempts at a derailed a fifth comprehensive economic relief package.

The GOP proposal is estimated to cost around $ 500 billion — a steep drop from the Democrats’ $ 3 trillion offer.

The bill would have provided more than $ 250 billion for another round of small business loans, $ 105 billion for schools, and $ 16 billion for testing and contact tracing resources.

It also included liability protection against COVID-related injuries and converts a $ 10 billion loan for the Postal Service into a grant.

The bill wasn’t expected to pass, with Democratic leaders slamming the Republican offer as ‘emaciated’ for leaving too many relief programs on the cutting room floor, in particular funding for state and local governments.

They also objected to the liability protections and school choice provisions.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, called Thursday’s vote “pointless.”

“The Republican leader claims the bill is an attempt at a bipartisan solution but the bill was drafted solely by Republicans, no input by Democrats and rushed to the floor,” he said. “This bill is not going to happen because it is so emaciated, so filled with poison pills, so partisanly designed. It was designed to fail.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of obstructing any deal to score political points in the upcoming November elections and said they were prioritizing party politics over public health.

“Today every Senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to, or they want to send families nothing,” he said before the vote.

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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