Senate defeat of ‘skinny’ coronavirus aid bill puts it on ‘dead-end street’

WASHINGTON (7b09) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday killed a Republican bill that would have provided around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, as Democrats seeking far more funding prevented it from advancing.

By a vote of 52-47, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed in the 100-member chamber to advance the partisan bill toward passage, leaving the future of any new coronavirus aid in doubt.

“It’s a sort of a dead-end street,” Republican Senator Pat Roberts told reporters following the vote.

“Along with a pandemic – the COVID-19 – we have a pandemic of politics” in Congress, he added.

Senator Rand Paul, who opposed the deficit spending in the bill, was the lone Republican to vote no.

Democratic leaders in Congress have been pushing for a far more vigorous response: around $3 trillion in new funding amid the continuing pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who spearheaded the Republican bill that failed, had offered a more expansive, $1 trillion coronavirus measure in July. Amid strong opposition from Democrats and many Republicans, he was unable to even stage a vote on that proposal.