Mar 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Procedural vote on coronavirus stimulus fails for 2nd time in 24 hours

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hold a meeting to discuss a potential economic bill
Mitch McConnell, Steven Mnuchin and Chuck Schumer. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A procedural vote on Senate Republicans' $1.8 trillion Phase 3 stimulus package failed on Monday for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The big picture: Patience is wearing thin on Capitol Hill as talks over providing desperately needed aid to Americans and businesses continue to stall.

  • Republican senators, many of whom have been more frustrated in the last 24 hours than I've ever seen them, are accusing Democrats of playing politics during a national crisis.
  • Meanwhile, Democrats continue to argue that the Senate GOP's legislation is a corporate slush fund that doesn't do enough to help American workers. This has driven House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to draft her own version of a Phase 3 bill.
  • Today's motion to proceed with the bill failed entirely along party lines, with the exception of Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who voted with Republicans in favor of the motion to proceed with a vote on the package.

What they're saying:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I’d like to see Senate Democrats tell small business employees in their states who are literally being laid off every day that they’re filibustering relief that will keep people on the payroll because Democrats’ special interest friends want to squeeze employers while they’re vulnerable."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "The bottom line is very simple. We are fighting for a better bill because this bill will have an effect for a very long time."
  • Pelosi: “The Senate Republicans’ bill, as presented, put corporations first, not workers and families. Today, House Democrats will unveil a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers: the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act." (Details)

What's next: Democrats are prepared to continue blocking the Senate Republicans' bill until they get more concessions. Negotiations will continue until both parties, as well as the White House, can strike a deal that delivers the necessary 60 votes to move to a final vote.

Go deeper