Senate Democrats filibusters the COVID $300 billion virus relief bill designed to extend unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans, funding for schools and liability protections for businesses and health care facilities.
The bill was defeated in a 52-47 vote, not meeting the 60 needed to break the Democratic filibuster, with one Republican, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, joining the vote against.
“Along with the pandemic COVID-19, we have a pandemic of politics,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., explaining that the path forward appeared bleak. “It’s a sort of a dead end street, and very unfortunate, but it is what it is.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced the measure Tuesday, a $300 billion fraction of previous coronavirus bills that Democrats and Republicans spent weeks disagreeing over.
Republicans originally were backing a $1 trillion bill, while Democrats have fought for an expansive package and passed a $3 trillion bill in the House in May.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said while talks may continue between the White House and Democrats, it appeared very unlikely more financial relief would reach Americans before November.
“It looks like they don’t want to get to an agreement. And if they don’t want to sit down and talk, I think they think they’re going to have a political victory, but it’s going to be a loss for the American people,” Grassley said of Democrats. “And so my guess is, as of now, unless Pelosi changes her mind, talks to the White House, there’s not gonna be anything done, and it’s sad.”