Tensions flared on the Senate floor Monday as lawmakers viscerally clashed on camera over phase three of a coronavirus response package, with Democrats blocking Republican efforts to advance the massive stimulus bill for the second day in a row.
Leaving the legislation in limbo once more, the Senate stalled over the package Monday afternoon on a 49-46 vote. It needed 60 votes to advance.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., then stormed to the floor to accuse Democrats of "mindless obstruction" that could drag out any action for days. He said Democrats' list of demands keeps getting "longer and longer."
Democrats argue the more-than $1 trillion package did too much for large corporations and not enough for workers, but Republicans accuse them of playing politics and using the crisis as leverage to try and jam through unrelated political "wish list" items concerning climate change and more.
“The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said shortly before the vote. “It is time to get this done. The American people expect us to act, they need action. We need to get this done for the American people.”
Thune slammed Democrats—specifically moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who just moments earlier said the bill was “weighted toward the Wall Street corporation side.”
“Here we are dilly-dallying around,” Thune said. “This bill is about workers, families, people out there hurting economically—we’re in a position to do something about it and it is high time that we did.”
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