WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) — For a second time Monday, Democrats blocked a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus bill from moving forward. Democrats say the bill is a giveaway to big corporations.
Senators clashed as they failed to reach an agreement on the COVID-19 response bill.
“Well, we have a basic philosophical conflict,” said Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Democrats blocked the Republican proposal. Merkley calls it a “slush fund” for big corporations, like the airline industry.
“So, they’ve invested $50 billion in profits during the good times, in buying their own stock and giving huge bonuses to their management,” said Merkley. “And then during the bad times, they want to say, ‘we”, let the public bail us out.’”
Republicans say bipartisan negotiations were going well until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived back in Washington and got involved. An angry Senator, John Thune of South Dakota, said the bill included many provisions Democrats wan, such as direct checks for Americans, increased unemployment insurance, and money for small businesses to pay employees.
“That right there is $900 billion going to workers,” said Thune.
He says there is $500 billion worth of money for big corporations but stresses that money will be given out as loans.
“And they all hire millions of employees in this country,” said Thune. “So, yes, we probably need to do something.”
However, Democrats want transparency for how the money is spent, and assurances that it won’t be used for things like executive bonuses.
LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
- Despite IRS warning, stimulus checks and debit cards cause confusion
- Variant strain of COVID-19 detected in Hillsborough County, infectious disease doctor says
- When can grandparents safely visit their grandkids after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Florida coronavirus: State reports 12,311 new cases; total hospitalizations surpass 70K
- California mom describes allergic reaction to Moderna vaccine