Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed his Republican colleagues earlier today as Democrats and Republicans struggle to come to an agreement over coronavirus relief funds.
“It’s in the middle of the week, and the Republican Party is so disorganized, chaotic and unprepared that they can barely cobble together a partisan bill in their own conference,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
Both sides of the aisle plan to pass a coronavirus relief bill by the end of the month. Both sides agree on direct payment to Americans, aid for schools, health spending, and shoring up the Paycheck Protection Program, a crucial lifeline for small businesses that have been hurt by the virus.
Where the two parties disagree is on liability protections. Republicans have proposed passing legislation that would protect businesses and other organizations from personal injury lawsuits related to the virus. President Donald Trump is also advocating for a payroll tax cut, but neither party has shown interest in his proposal. Republicans also want to keep the cost of the bill low––they’re proposing a bill that would offer roughly $1 trillion in aid, a significant drop from the $3 trillion in federal aid the House voted on in March.
“Democrats included funding for the U.S. Postal Service, the November elections, food assistance, transit systems, student loan relief, and a wide range of other programs. Republicans, who aim to keep the overall cost of the bill down, are unlikely to support these proposals,” according to Reuters.
“The economy needs another shot of adrenaline,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said yesterday. “If we lose control of the virus…everything else will be window dressing.”
McConnell has received heavy criticism for his stance on allowing a $600 additional unemployment benefit, credited with keeping millions of people afloat as the economy founders, to expire by the end of the month. He has appeared to walk this back, though has no offered no specifics as of yet.
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