Republicans in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called Nancy Pelosi’s new $3 trillion coronavirus relief package “dead on arrival,” all but guaranteeing the legislation would go nowhere in the Senate, even as millions of Americans are jobless and struggling to put food on the table.
“What you’ve seen in the House, Nancy, is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations.” McConnell said, according to The Hill. “This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The report notes that the Democratic legislation could come to a vote in the House on Friday and it “includes funding for food assistance, state and local governments, another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals and hazard pay for essential workers, among other provisions.”
But Senate leadership is basically telling Speaker Pelosi and Democratic lawmakers that their bill helps workers too much and big business not enough.
More from The Hill:
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican senator, called the House bill a “payoff” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s constituents, vowing that it will “never pass the Senate.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the House package “dead on arrival.”
But the bill effectively hit a buzzsaw among Senate Republicans, whose support would be needed to even get the bill scheduled for a vote on the floor, much less pass the measure.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the upper chamber, argued that the House bill was not designed to pass, calling it a “messaging exercise.”
Republicans are demanding protections for big businesses
While House Democrats are proposing legislation that puts money into the hands of Americans who need it most, Republicans are – no surprise – fighting for big businesses.
As The Hill noted, “Even as House Democrats were unveiling their proposal, McConnell instead discussed from the Senate floor how he and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are working on a bill to expand liability protections for employers — a ‘red line’ for the GOP leader in any fifth coronavirus bill.”
In the middle of a global health crisis and an economic collapse, the Republican Party’s stated priority – their so-called “red line” – is to make sure companies are shielded from pandemic-related lawsuits. That’s the hill they want to die on.
Meanwhile, millions of working Americans are struggling to pay the bills, keep their homes and feed their kids during this pandemic.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.