GOP Stimulus Plan Fails in the Senate, Making Deal Unlikely Before Election

A scaled-back coronavirus stimulus plan that had been presented by Republicans in the Senate has officially failed to pass, reports the New York Times. 

The 52-47 vote was almost unanimously split along party lines, with the exception of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who joined Democrats in opposition. The plan needed 60 votes to move forward.

Though the plan was never expected to pass and was viewed as largely symbolic by Republicans, this latest development continues the months-long stalemate over the relief package, making it even less likely that any such package will be passed ahead of the election. 

A fight over funding:

Democrats have consistently refused to accept any proposed plan less than $2.2 trillion, arguing that such spending is necessary to adequately address the economic impact of the pandemic. Of particular concern to Democrats has been a lack of new money for struggling state and local governments. 

The failed GOP plan, which was being called a “skinny” bill by the party, slashed billions from their original $1 trillion proposal in July, leaving the two parties further apart than ever. 

Both sides blame the other for inaction on relief:

For Republicans, today’s symbolic vote was largely seen as a way to put Democrats on the defense in the battle over relief funding. 

“They can tell American families they care more about politics than helping them,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said of Democrats. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer meanwhile called the bill “insufficient” and “completely inadequate.” 

“This bill is not going to happen because it is so emaciated, so filled with poison pills — it is designed to fail,” he said. 

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