Stimulus Bill Fails To Advance In Senate

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A stalemate over the future of coronavirus stimulus will continue as of Thursday (Sept. 10) as the Senate failed to pass a Republican plan to advance more financial aid, CNBC reported.

The plan in question would have worked to establish a lesser unemployment benefit of $300 per week as opposed to $600 per week from earlier this year. It would have passed forth new small- to medium-sized business (SMB) loans and added funding for schools and new virus testing, treatment and vaccines.

The measure fell short of the 60 votes it needed to pass, with all Democrats along with Republican Sen. Rand Paul working to oppose it in a 52-47 vote. The disagreement comes after weeks of contention within the GOP as to whether any more aid needed to be passed at all.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought forward the legislation both to show Republican action to fight the pandemic and to put pressure on Democrats running for office this year, CNBC reported.

But there were no second individual checks for $1,200 passed in the Republican agreement, and there was also no additional funding for cash-starved state and local governments trying to combat the effects of the pandemic. Money for rent assistance and food aid was also absent. The Democratic lawmakers favored variations of all of those priorities, according to CNBC.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Republican plan was “beyond insufficient” on Thursday.

The GOP has been angling to pass a pared-down bill in the wake of recent collapses in negotiations between the parties to agree on a comprehensive package. McConnell called the slimmed-down version a way to emphasize the direst needs of the pandemic right now.

The disagreements have run deep between the parties, though, with Democrats angling for more widespread measures and Republicans hesitant to spend too much more taxpayer dollars, citing the jobs added since the worst of the lockdowns earlier this year as reason for hope.

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