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Today, the Senate failed to advance the “skinny” proposal that I wrote about yesterday.
This was a much smaller stimulus package that contained certain benefits like aid for school and coronavirus vaccines but did not include additional stimulus checks.
It also left out “funding for state and local governments, food assistance for children, families evicted from their homes, relief for the travel industry and broadband in rural areas.”
As far as the voting went, it came out 52 to 47, which did not meet the 60-vote threshold. All Democrats and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul voted in opposition to the bill.
Some feel as if this attempt was merely an effort to give Republicans an advantage in Senate races. The thinking is that they can at least point to this proposal and say that they tried and that it was Democratic opposition that caused the package to fail.
Regardless of how you feel, it is still pretty frustrating to see lawmakers fail to make an agreement come to fruition considering how much time they have had.
There are at least some Democrats who believe opposing this bill will bring about more serious negotiations, however.
“If past is prologue, once the Republicans see they can’t intimidate us into voting for a wildly insufficient bill, they may come to the table and do what needs to be done,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday.
“We hope that will happen.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the GOP’s latest coronavirus aid package yesterday.
It is the “skinny” proposal that we have been hearing a lot about over the past month.
This $500 billion proposal includes a host of benefits which include $105 billion to help schools, $31 billion for a coronavirus vaccine, $16 billion for virus testing, and $15 billion to help child care providers.
Funds will also be used for the $300-per-week supplemental jobless benefit, $10 billion for the USPS, and $20 billion will go to farmers.
What’s missing from this package?
You guessed it: more stimulus checks.
As expected, Democrats are not pleased by this latest proposal.
“Get real, Mitch McConnell,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said during a Bloomberg interview.
“It’s only a ‘check the box’ so that some of his endangered Republican senators can go home and say, ‘Well, see, I tried.’ But it isn’t trying. It is not even an attempt to do the right thing.”
A test vote is expected to go tomorrow and it is also expected that Democrats will block the legislation.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that the bill “doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere.”
Democrats are hoping that Republicans will feel pressure to put together a more appealing package after they are unsuccessful with this proposal.
“There’s a good chance they feel the pressure once they see the Democrats are not going to fold to this emaciated bill, which leaves so much out. The pressure will mount on them,” Schumer said.
So far the negotiations are stuck because Republicans have offered a maximum package of $1.3 trillion while Democrats are refusing to settle for anything below $2.2 trillion.
It’s odd that Republicans would propose such a low stimulus package of $500 billion with no stimulus checks when the president has already said that they have $300 billion ready to go for more stimulus checks.
“We have $300 billion ready to go, all Congress has to do is say, ‘use it.’” said Trump.
Even Vice President Mike Pence voiced support for more checks.
“Nobody wants to give direct payments to American families more than President Donald Trump. We sent those checks to American families, it helped people through this tough time,” Pence said.
So I’m guessing that this new skinny proposal will be dead on arrival but perhaps it will spark new negotiations that will result in more stimulus checks going out soon.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.