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$2T Coronavirus Stimulus Package Stalled Further As Senate Clashes Over Specifics

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$2T Coronavirus Stimulus Package Stalled Further As Senate Clashes Over Specifics

The United States Senate remained divided along party lines over an economic stimulus package to counter the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak again on Monday.

Votes Divided On Party Lines

The senators voted 49-46 in favor of the stimulus, falling well short of the required 60 votes.

Alabama senator Doug Jones was the only Democrat who voted in favor of the legislation. When asked what changed his mind from Sunday, when he voted against it, Jones told CNN that the "clock is ticking."

The second procedural vote took place even as Senate Democrats and Republicans haven't managed to reach a consensus on what the economic stimulus should include.

Democrats Object To Corporate Loans

The Democrats have primarily objected to about $500 billion dedicated for loans and loan guarantees for affected businesses, the Washington Post noted.

Dubbing it a "slush fund," Democrats say Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will have too much discretion in deciding who gets the money. "I'll be the oversight," President Donald Trump assured on Monday, as reported by the Post.

The Democrats are also opposing what they say is the package prioritizing corporate interests over American workers, asking for a bigger allocation to families and healthcare workers.

Pelosi Offers Parallel Proposal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her own version of the coronavirus stimulus that included more funds for states to conduct elections by mail during the pandemic, Politico reported.

The proposal also suggests imposing strict restrictions on corporates tapping the loans, including requiring them to hold off any executive bonuses, buyback of shares, or lobbying the federal government until such loan is paid back in full.

Negotiations Show Progress

The Senate is making progress in negotiations relating to the legislation proposed by the Republicans, both sides suggested.

"We are getting there. We are very close," Mnuchin told reporters after meeting after both Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer, the Post reported.

According to the Post, Schumer reassured the same to Democrats on a conference call.

The legislation could be back on the table for a procedural vote as soon as Tuesday, Texas Senator John Cornyn said.

 

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