Debate in the Senate grew rancorous today as Republicans demanded quick approval of their coronavirus aid legislation, heavy on corporate help, while Democrats pushed for more help for working people.
“We have an obligation to get the details right, get them done quickly,” Schumer said. “That doesn’t mean blindly accepting a Republican-only bill.”
As markets plunged, the Senate floor then descended into a near screaming match as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) sought recognition to speak, which Schumer objected to, prompting Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to exclaim, “This is bullshit!” and Collins to say, “This is unbelievable.”
Cotton is an expert on the subject.
Some of the details:
Monday’s talks got under way the morning after Senate Democrats voted to block the bill from advancing, infuriating Republicans. Democrats have alleged the bill does too much to help prop up businesses without directing enough money to households, hospitals and health professionals. White House officials have acknowledged the unprecedented assistance the legislation would steer toward corporations, but they have said this money would help protect millions of jobs.
….Democratic concerns have focused on a $500 billion funding program for loans and loan guarantees Republicans want to create, which some Democrats are labeling a “slush fund” because the Treasury Department would have broad discretion over who receives the money. There is little precedent for a program with a similar size and scope.
…Democrats have argued that without protections for workers, companies receiving bailout money could fire their employees and pocket the taxpayer assistance, which would undermine the purpose of the federal aid. Republicans have said the program needs to be up and running immediately to help the economy before it is too late.
Republicans are still unhappy about being forced to vote for paid sick leave in an earlier ad bill.
UPDATE: Sherrod Brown wasn’t having any of Cotton’s BS.
“I know you always want to do Trump, the president’s bidding … I have the floor and I will keep the floor.” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, responds to a question from Tom Cotton, R-Ark. pic.twitter.com/YrBQuNhCdy
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) March 23, 2020