Mitch McConnell Blocks Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Bill In Senate
On Friday, Congress sent a temporary bill to President Donald Trump that would fund the government, avoid a shutdown and create more time to work out a compromised on a COVID-19 stimulus package.
The bill pushes back the decision deadline to next Friday at midnight. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of it.
Congress has delayed this round of pandemic relief for quite some time, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has blocked all stimulus legislation. The bipartisan Senate compromised legislation would allocate more than $900 billion in funding for stimulus.
Trump has been supportive of another round of stimulus checks, but he wants $600 per person rather than the $1,200 checks that were sent out earlier this year.
While Senate Republicans are encouraging a lower-cost plan, other members are supportive of sending direct cash payments to Americans this winter, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) says that Congress will not go home for the holidays if they cannot determine an agreement.
“We’re not going to go home for the Christmas holidays unless we make sure that we provide for the millions of families in this country who are suffering,” Sanders said.
Notable features of the plan include funding for coronavirus vaccines, support for small businesses, healthcare providers and schools and families that have taken a hit due to the economic shutdowns.