DC Tax Flash: Senate GOP Virus Relief Bill Blocked Again

Tax Alert
10.21.2020

The Senate today voted against moving forward with a $520 billion virus relief package assembled by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Needing 60 votes to advance, the procedural motion failed on a partisan 51-44 tally. After today's vote, attention is now almost entirely focused on fitful negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on a broader relief package that could approach or exceed $2 trillion.

Today's effort by Sen. McConnell to advance the GOP bill was not expected to succeed, but rather to remind voters where Senators stand on the proposal. The bill largely mirrored a GOP proposal that failed last month on a partisan vote.

Democrats continued to oppose the Senate Republican package, titled the "Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act," arguing it does too little to help families, teachers, students, workers, patients and health care providers. "It's laden with poison pills that our Republican colleagues know Democrats would never support," Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said today on the Senate floor.

In a related move, the Senate yesterday voted against a separate proposal offered by Leader McConnell that would revise and restart the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). He brought the bill to the floor as an amendment using a procedural motion whereby a vote in favor of tabling the amendment reflected opposition and a vote against tabling the amendment demonstrated support for it. The final vote was 40-57, with Sens. Hassan (D-NH), Jones (D-AL), Peters (D-MI), and Warner (D-VA) crossing the aisle to join Republicans.


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