Coronavirus stimulus: GOP's $500 billion plan fails in Senate as deadline for bigger deal looms
The GOP's $ 500 billion coronavirus stimulus package failed to go through in the Senate Wednesday as the White House and Democrats are still negotiating a bigger deal that needs to be reached this week to be passed before the elections.
The Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans, voted with 51 to 44 votes - following the party-political model - and thus missed the 60-vote majority that the bill would have to promote.
"Today we offer another opportunity to write the show," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said ahead of the Senate vote on Wednesday. "The Senators will vote to promote or filibust a comprehensive package that addresses all kinds of urgent needs."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) speaks during a press conference following the Republicans weekly lunch at the Hart Senate Office building on Capitol Hill October 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images)
The $ 500 billion bill, similar to the one that failed in the Senate in September, includes funding for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), additional unemployment benefits, money for schools, and corporate liability protection.
"The bill we are voting on today has already failed in the Senate and has not received a democratic vote," said Charles Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Senate minority, on Wednesday before the Senate vote. "It's full of poison pills that our Republican colleagues know Democrats will never support."
Read More: Here's What You Need To Know About Eligibility for Unemployment Benefit
McConnell said he "didn't expect us to get Democratic votes," but he put the bill to the vote "to alert the American people that Senate Republicans think another package is important," said he told reporters on Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been negotiating a new deal on behalf of the White House and Democrats for over three months and are expected to speak again on Wednesday. A deal would have to be written by the end of this week to stand before the election, Pelosi told Bloomberg News on Tuesday.
At least 44 states have disbursed all funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster / Yahoo Finance)
"Optimistic that there will be a bill"
The latest proposal from the Democrats is the revised HEROES bill worth $ 2.2 trillion, while the White House counter-proposal is worth "nearly $ 1.9 trillion," according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
"I am optimistic that there will be a bill," Pelosi told MSNBC on Wednesday. "It is a question of whether it is on time to pay the November rent, which is my goal, or whether it will be shortly thereafter and retrospectively."
While the two parties have grown closer in testing and tracking, differences of opinion persist over state and local government funding and liability coverage.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the United States, on October 9, 2020. (Xinhua / T IngShen / liujie via Getty Images)
The deal between the White House and the Democrats would likely meet stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. It would take 60 votes to pass the Senate, which means that at least 13 Republican Senators would have to vote for the legislation.
"If there's a bipartisan deal, I think there are enough votes to make sure we get this across the finish line and to the president's desk," Meadows told reporters on Wednesday.
McConnell also agreed to vote on bipartisans in the Senate - despite opposition from his party - but did not say whether it would be before or after the election.
"If a presidential-sponsored bill ever releases the house, we'll bring it to the ground," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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