- The Senate voted Tuesday on a budget resolution that could speed coronavirus aid through Congress.
- Not a single Republican Senator voted to advance the measure.
- The phrase “No Republicans” was trending on Twitter following the vote.
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Senate Republicans issued a mass rebuke of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package when not a single one voted to advance the stimulus package Tuesday night.
In a strict party-line vote, all 50 Senate Democrats voted to advance a budget resolution to speed the aid package through Congress without Republican support. Forty-nine Republicans voted against the resolution. Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, did not vote because he was delayed by snow.
The phrase “No Republicans” was trending on Twitter following the vote.
“We are not going to dilute, dither or delay,” New York Sen. and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. “There’s nothing about the process itself that prevents bipartisanship.”
The package on the line includes a round of $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans, $350 billion to state and local governments, an increase in federal jobless aid to $400, and a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15, among other aid.
All four measures have proven to be sticking points between the two parties.
Republicans want the checks capped at $1,000 and demanded they only go to people making less than $50,000 a year. They say the money for state and local governments isn’t needed and didn’t include any local funding in their counteroffer. They want the current federal jobless aid to remain the same and continue through June. Biden’s plan sees it increased and extended through September. And while some Republicans support increasing the federal minimum wage, few wish it to be as high as $15.
The bill also includes $130 billion to reopen schools, a major expansion of the child tax credit, $50 billion toward COVID-19 testing, and $20 million toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes.
The 50-49 vote on advancing the package kicks off the budget-reconciliation process in the Senate. It would allow Democrats to pass Biden’s plan with only 51 votes, instead of the 60-vote supermajority usually required of bills.
The GOP’s united opposition toward the resolution comes after Biden hosted Republicans Monday to discuss the party’s $618 billion counteroffer.
“[Biden] was very strong in emphasizing the need for a big, bold package,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a press conference Monday. “He said that he told Senate Republicans that the $600 billion that they proposed was way too small.”
According to The New York Times, some Republican senators considered Biden more receptive to compromise than his staff or Schumer during the meeting.
“They’ve chosen a totally partisan path,” Kentucky Sen. and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Times about Senate Democrats.
Senate Democrats could approve the resolution as soon as Friday.
According to Roll Call, the house will vote on its nearly identical measure Wednesday, then will have to vote again on final adoption of the joint measure after the Senate makes additions.