By: D. Kennedy
Lawmakers opposed the latest Republican-led stimulus proposal even before Thursday’s votes, which would have advanced the latest coronavirus relief package to a full debate on the Senate floor.
The $500 billion bill included a $300-a-week federal unemployment enhancement in the CARES Act through Dec. 27, schools and hospitals expanded liability protection, a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, and $105 billion for schools to operate during the pandemic through an Educational Stabilization fund. This also provides a two-year tax credit for private schools.
The final vote count was 52-47. Republicans needed 60 votes to advance the bill. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was the only Republican to vote against the deal. Locally, Sen. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz both opposed the bill. Democrats have requested another round of $1,200 economic impact payments and funding for state and local governments.
Sen. Hirono told local news networks that cutting the funding for state and local governments was a “non-starter” for them. While coronavirus cases appear to be at a plateau, there is still widespread economic hardship and social unease in homes, schools, and businesses.
“Today every senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to or they can send families nothing,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. Republicans continue to support a short-term spending measure, which could include coronavirus relief while getting struggling families back to work again.
Hirono and many other Democrat Senators have voted against stimulus bills because of partisan politics. This would’ve been the last chance to pass a relief bill before the election season. The left has no intention of giving the people any help with this economic crisis until after the election. Playing politics as usual.