Democrats on Capitol Hill will likely come together with Republicans and pass the $1.3 trillion coronavirus economic bill on Monday, but they wasted precious hours by blocking the legislation on Sunday. Nothing they do can get that time back, and they are at least partially responsible for whatever damage is done to the stock market. At a time when the nation is looking to Washington to get past the partisan bickering and help save the crashing economy, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are playing the usual political games.
As of Sunday night, the bill remained deadlocked in the Senate, 47 to 47. They need 60 votes to pass the bill up to the president’s desk.
“I want everybody to fully understand if we aren’t able to act tomorrow, it will be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dicker when the country expects us to come together and address the problem,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday evening.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), not known for taking shots across the aisle, was direct in her remarks to The New York Times, accusing Democrats of acting “irresponsible and unwise” at a time of crisis.
“They are playing with fire,” she said.
Compounding the problem for Republicans is that at least six GOP senators are in self-isolation after coming into contact with people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. And this of course includes Sen. Rand Paul, who himself tested positive for the virus this weekend. Unless McConnell figures out a way to have the Senate vote on these bills remotely, time is seriously running out. And, to put it in frankly partisan terms, it’s not exactly fair for Democrats to suddenly take a majority in the Senate based on people getting sick or putting themselves in quarantine.
Look, it’s all fine and well for Democrats to have their problems with the bill. We’re sure Republicans are thrilled with every line in the thing, either. But that’s the point: They can all come back to the table and pass another bill in time. Indeed, if this crisis keeps getting worse, that will almost certainly be necessary. The important thing right now is to get the gears turning, because there are businesses, workers – hell, entire industries – teetering on the brink right now. And knowing how slow the wheels of bureaucracy turn, we’re not optimistic about the turnaround from legislation to the flow of actual money.
Taking note of the drop in stock futures on Sunday, McConnell said, “The notion that we have time to play games here with the American economy and the American people is utterly absurd.”
Yeah, but we’re talking about politicians who actually thought we should impeach Trump over a phone call to the Ukrainian president, so…