Legislators on both sides of the aisle have called for additional stimulus to help Americans struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. Democrats and Republicans put forth plans of their own, but they’ve yet to see eye-to-eye on the best path forward, with Democrats criticizing Republicans’ packages for being insufficient, and Republicans balking at the price tag of Democrats’ plans.
One thing the two sides seem to agree on is that the other is to blame for the delay in getting relief into the pockets of their constituents.
“Democrats blocked key aid for small businesses and American workers 40+ times,” a graphic shared on social media said. GOP legislators, committees and the GOP shared similar sentiments, as well.
At the top of the Republicans plan for aiding people impacted by the pandemic is another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Two bills—H.R. 8087 and H.R. 8265—introduced by Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) would reopen the PPP for another round of relief. H.R. 8265 would reopen the program with funding from the CARES Act and 8087 would expand the program with new funding.
On five occasions, Republicans vowed to bring up the PPP bills—once for 8087 and four times for 8265—for consideration if the previous questions were defeated. Democrats passed the question on all occasions, most recently on Thursday, when they voted in favor of bringing the legalization of marijuana to the floor for a final vote. Had legislators defeated the previous question, it would have given Republicans control of the floor and the ability to bring H.R. 8265 up for consideration.
On October 1, 35 Republican members of the House of Representatives made individual unanimous consent requests during a debate over a $2.2 trillion relief bill to bring H.R. 8265 up for consideration. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) would not yield her time for the purpose of unanimous consent, so the request could not be entertained. Since Scanlon said she had “no intention” of yielding her time for the request, it was clear the following 34 requests would be rejected, as well.
Republicans also attempted to force a vote on the bill through a discharge petition but failed to gather the support necessary when no Democrats signed it.
In the Senate, Republicans twice have tried to pass a targeted relief measure but had their efforts thwarted when they failed to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome the Democratic filibuster.
Democrats also passed two versions of the HEROES Act that included funding for the PPP. In May, only one Republican, Representative Peter King, voted in favor of the bill and in October it received no Republican support.
Technically speaking, Republicans have tried more than 40 times to bring another round of relief to businesses and workers. However, it’s not as straightforward as Democrats voting against the bill.
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