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.
Earlier 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.
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.