Washington, D.C. (PPD) — A coronavirus response bill has been stalled in the U.S. Senate by political gamesmanship, as Democrats block emergency relief to force concessions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and other major market indexes fell precipitously at the opening bell on Monday after the bill failed.
Multiple sources tell People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) Democrats were resigned to voting for the bill until Republican lawmakers — including Senator Rand Paul, R-Kty. — tested positive for the coronavirus. Senate Democrats are now leveraging the required vote count to push for a wishlist.
The current laundry list of demands includes parts of the Green New Deal (GND), new fuel emission standards for airlines, collective bargaining rights for unions and election reforms long pushed by the left.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Senate Democrats blocked the bill in large part because it included corporate bailouts and didn’t include enough funding for hospitals.
“We voted no on the McConnell-GOP bill because among other problems it includes huge bailouts without protections for people and workers and without accountability, and because it shortchanges our hospitals and healthcare workers who need our help,” he tweeted after more than the minimum 41 votes needed to stop the bill were cast.
While Democrats said the bill skewed too heavily toward helping corporations at the expense of workers and families, comments by Democratic lawmakers in private tell a different tale.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., told his colleagues on a conference call last Thursday, according to a source on the call.
The Trump Administration responded to the criticism on Monday. Larry Kudlow, the Director of the National Economic Council at the White House, said the loans are key to preventing economic collapse and will be transparent.
“It’s not a slush fund. That will get money to small- and medium-sized businesses. It will also get money to key parts of the economy that are distressed. That will all be done transparently,” he said.
“This is something that’s the corner, the keystone. The Treasury will run it with the FED. It will inject liquidity. That’s probably the fastest way to get liquidity and credit into the economy.”
The Federal Reserve said the bill will provide loan relief for student loans, automobile loans, credit card loans, small business loans, money market loans and corporate bonds.
“This is what will keep us whole while the virus flattens out,” Mr. Kudlow added.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kty., slammed Democrats for forcing the country into “a war without ammunition.”
“This is the day it has to stop,” Leader McConnell said. “The country is out of time.”