Senate Dems Block PPP Small Business Funds & Pre-Existing Protections Bill as GOP Rejects Schumer Adjournment Motion
Should the Senate approve another round of PPP funding for small businesses?
What’s the story?
- The Senate remains at an impasse over coronavirus relief measures, as votes held Tuesday on another infusion of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program failed to break the gridlock.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered a motion to table (ie “kill”) a bill that would allow small businesses to receive a second round of forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The $258 billion package would include unused funds leftover from a prior authorization of the PPP that can’t be accessed because Congress hasn’t extended the application deadline, which lapsed in August.
- The motion wasn’t agreed to on a 40-57 vote, as Republicans were joined by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Angus King (I-ME), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Warner (D-VA) in voting not to table, while the remaining Democratic senators voted to table the PPP funding package. Had there been 60 votes, the Senate could have approved a cloture motion and gone on to pass the package.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered a motion to table the motion to proceed to a bill offered by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) to protect pre-existing conditions, which he argued would allow the Senate to vote on House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion relief package.
- The motion wasn’t agreed to in a 45-52 vote that went along party-lines, with Democrats voting in favor of tabling and Republicans opposed. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) not voting.
- After those votes, the Senate voted 52-43 to move into executive session, then rejected a Schumer motion to adjourn the Senate until after the election on a 52-43 vote.
- The Senate is still expected to take a procedural vote on a $500 billion coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday, although it’s unclear whether that will prove to be more successful than Tuesday’s votes.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Stephen Emlund)
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