Bernie Sanders threatens to hold up emergency coronavirus relief bill

The prospect of a planned Senate vote on a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic dimmed Wednesday as Senator Bernie Sanders said he would delay the bill.

Jacob Pramuk for CNBC:

U.S. coronavirus stimulusEarlier in the day, four Republican senators — Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rick Scott of Florida — threatened not to support the chamber’s push to pass the rescue package through fast-track procedures. They argued a plan to add $600 per week to unemployment insurance for up to four months, a core provision of the near-final legislation, could encourage companies to lay off workers and Americans to stay unemployed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., then said he would hold up the bill if his GOP colleagues did not drop their opposition.

The prospect of an impasse in the Senate appeared to hit U.S. stock indexes at the end of Wednesday’s session.

The Hill:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, warned that unless a group of GOP senators back down from their demand for changes to the unemployment insurance benefits, he would slow walk the bill until stronger guardrails were put on hundreds of billions in funding for corporations.

Putting a “hold” on a bill would force McConnell to go through days of procedural loopholes that could delay the bill into the weekend or even early next week…

Graham said they learned the details of the deal during a 92-minute conference call Senate Republicans had on Wednesday morning. They are asking for a vote on an amendment that would cap unemployment benefits at 100 percent of a person’s salary.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, the two sides will (eventually) work it out. Hopefully, sooner than later. The U.S system is messy (it’s designed to be that way), but it is unparalleled.


    1. Your statement is incorrect. Sanders is the one threatening to hold up the bill. The four Republican Senators are asking for a vote on a narrow amendment.

      Like MDN, says: They’ll work it out. This is how the system is meant to work.

    2. The headline on the original article reads “Bernie Sanders threatens to hold up coronavirus bill after 4 GOP senators push to cut unemployment aid,” which offers a slightly more nuanced view than the MDN headline. It’s true that the four Republican senators are trying to amend a bill that has been painstakingly negotiated by their leadership. Sanders is using a parliamentary tool to pressure them.

    1. Unfortunately too many Americans don’t know and don’t care what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created our country, and that’s why it’s such a friggin’ mess today.

  1. I’m not exactly sure what you meant, but I’ll throw in, I doubt the founders would advocate making more in unemployment benefits than what one makes in your current job, or made in last job that’s used to determine “typical” unemployment benefit.

    Nothing like conditioning Pavlov’s dog to take the govt offer. Why work?

  2. Commies start the virus. US Politicians kill us through inaction and partisan bickering. Welcome to the new USA. No wonder there is a run on gun stores. I’m packing my glock 19 from now on until this madness subsides. Lord help snybody who stands in my way.

  3. Why work to produce new or better products when Graham pushes to give more free money to lazy, badly managed, or disloyal corporations? Bernie is negotiating with austerity-obsessed rich legislators beholden to Wall St. woch does not need it to get a better deal for Main St. that actually needs it.

    I favor taxpayer aid going directly to workers, bypassing bad management that begs for a bailout for themselves. Workers will buy the corporation’s products thereby bailing out the corporation. This is how to shut down corporate begging and blackmails.

    1. What a bunch of crap! Do you even know the difference between Wall Street and Main Street? Wall Street is where the world gathers to buy and sell Main Street. Main Street is the engine that runs this whole country. The recovery package only helps Wall Street to the extent that it helps Main Street. Generalizing about evil business is like a 25 year old bitching about how evil his parents are for not getting him a new phone, while sleeping in their basement and eating their food.

      You obviously have no idea how this all works.

      So let’s assume that you actually had the incentive or brain power to put in the effort and take the risk of running a business. (I know. It’s a stretch). Lets say it is a pizza shop. You go thru all the hoops to get the location, do the advertising, hire the workers, get the equipment, supplies, etc., etc. Lets assume that you need to business to pay for itself and have enough left over to make a living for yourself. You hire some great workers, who are dedicated to doing a good job. You have pay them enough to make it worth their while, but you can’t pay them more than they are worth to you or you won’t be able to pay your other bills and feel your family.

      Along comes a virus and the government tells you to stop selling pizza for a few weeks. The government decides to give lots of money to your workers so they can keep paying their bills. But they don’t help you because you are ‘lazy, badly managed, and disloyal’ (to quote your lame generalization of those nasty awful business people.).

      Now your employees have enough money to buy your pizza, but you don’t have enough money to pay them. So, you can’t make pizza. So no-one can buy your pizza.because you don’t have any. So your workers go somewhere else to buy pizza. Oh wait, nobody else has pizza because they also can’t pay their workers. So, no pizza for the workers after all. So the workers say, Oh well, I will spend my money on something else. Oops. there is a real shortage of everything because nobody is making anything because they don’t have the workers to make products and they don’t have any money to pay any of their bills. Since they can’t pay their bills, including taxes to support the government, they, too, go out of business. Oh no! No more products for the workers to buy ,no more government money to pay the workers.

      Business creates jobs. Without the job creators, there would be no workers. Workers contribute immensely to the success of business, but no matter how good a worker is or potentially is, he or she needs to be worth at least as much as his or her contribution to the business that has created the job.

  4. Come on MDN, where’s the headline screaming that Representative Massie is holding up the House vote? Even your orange hero is trying to throw him under the bus, despite supposedly playing for the same team. Consistency in reporting please.

    More to the real point — where’s the principled financial leadership? Today’s bailouts make 2008 look like a warm-up act. Instead of shoveling money to everyone whether they need it or not, wouldn’t it be faster and simpler to extend of unemployment benefits for all who lost their jobs due to the bigly socialized distancing protocols?

    Who actually needs bailouts now? FIRST RESPONDERS, HOSPITALS, AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS. None of them have the resources for the anticipated pandemic.

    Corporations can and should rely on commercial loans, which are at an all-time low interest rate. If they blew their wads the last 3 years on repurchase of their own stock, tough rocks. The Fed purchase of corporate bonds (chosen without oversight by this administration) marks the departure from crony capitalism to all out socialism. Don’t be fooled. This administration is looking out for its own reelection, greasing its campaign donors. It never did have a fiscally conservative bone in its obese swamp creature body. The Blue team would do the same thing if they could. Both entrenched parties should be decamped permanently by voters this November. One wonders why anyone would want to run for president to clean up after this sh!t show.

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