Senate passed a coronavirus aid bill on Wednesday after the vote was delayed by Sen. Rand Paul, who introduced an unrelated amendment. 

Consideration of the bill, which included free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave, unemployment insurance, food security programs and Medicaid funding, was paused by Paul’s amendment. 

His amendment, which would “require a Social Security number for purposes of the child tax credit, and to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary, and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan,” was voted on Wednesday before the coronavirus bill. The amendment did not pass.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) called the amendment “a colossal waste of time.”


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“In a time of national emergency this Republican amendment is ridiculous, a colossal waste of time. We probably could have voted on this bill a day or two ago if not for the need to schedule this amendment,” he said on the Senate floor.

McConnell said that although he and other Senate Republicans believe the package approved by the House last week has “considerable shortcomings,” they would still vote for it because of the urgency for action. “We’re able to rise above our normal partisanship and many times our normal positions because these are not ordinary times. This is not an ordinary time,” he said.

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