A scaled-down $500 billion coronavirus relief bill introduced Tuesday by GOP Senate leaders was blocked by Democrats and failed to reach the 60-vote threshhold needed to clear procedural hurdles and move forward to a final vote.
Democrats rejected the reasoning of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that it was better to give the American people some help that both parties could agree on than do nothing at all.
“Today every senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to or they can send families nothing,” McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.
Sensing that Democrats would not support the bill, McConnell added that “they can tell American families they care more about politics than helping them.”
Dems decided doing nothing to help Americans was best option
Democrats decided to send families nothing, reasoning that they both didn’t want to give Republicans a win and would rather try to hold out for a larger package. It would be a win-win for Democrats if they could get their $3.4 trillion package into law, but Republicans are just as resolved to deny them the opportunity.
The infighting is not unusual when Congress has divided leadership, and the fact that $4 trillion has already been spent within six months to remediate the damage caused by coronavirus shutdowns has led to reduced urgency to pass even more.
The smaller GOP bill gave billions to small businesses, schools and universities, and the unemployed hurt by the pandemic, but it’s obvious Democrats don’t care about any of that unless they can also give handouts to ailing large cities and set up a fraudulent mail-in voting system that could lead to the end of fair and honest elections in the U.S.
Democrats said the bill was “laden with poison pills” that they couldn’t support. Did they mean liability protections so that people couldn’t sue businesses they voluntarily patronized or worked at if they got the virus?
Economy coming back, but how much damage will be permanent?
The economy is still slowly recovering from the shutdowns, but it’s unclear exactly how many businesses will fail permanently after months without income while they were shut down.
Some of the largest states and cities are still largely shut down as officials fear spikes upon re-opening. At least that’s what they say, but many suspect that there could be political motives to their ongoing restrictions.
Nearly all of the strict lockdowns are occurring in Democrat-run cities and states, and those same Democrats are hoping President Donald Trump gets the blame for the economic damage they are causing.
If they can keep the economy floundering until November, they reason, Trump will look responsible. But will the employees and business owners the Democrats take down with the economy see it that way?