Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) blasted Democrats for blocking coronavirus relief bill
Republican Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has blasted Democrats for blocking the much-needed bipartisan coronavirus bill, demanding that senators’ pay should be withheld “until Americans are put before politics.”
Sen. McSally slammed her colleagues in the Senate on Monday shortly before Democrats shut down the stimulus package a second time.
After previously agreeing on the measures, to help the economy and American people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic senators suddenly U-turned and voted the bill down for the first time on Sunday.
Among the list of unrelated demands for the coronavirus bill from Democrats were measures for meeting greenhouse gas targets and funding for illegal immigrants, according to reports.
McSally threatened to introduce a bill withholding senators pay “until Americans are put before politics” if the coronavirus relief package fails a second time – which it did later on Monday.
“If the Senate can’t come together in a time of great need, no Senator should receive a paycheck—like millions of Americans,” McSally declared on Twitter.
“If the urgent COVID-19 relief package fails again, I’m introducing a bill immediately to withhold Senators’ pay until Americans are put before politics.”
If the Senate can’t come together in a time of great need, no Senator should receive a paycheck—like millions of Americans. If the urgent COVID-19 relief package fails again, I’m introducing a bill immediately to withhold Senators’ pay until Americans are put before politics.
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) March 23, 2020
According to News Thud, tensions flared on the Senate floor Monday as lawmakers viscerally clashed on camera over phase three of a coronavirus response package, with Democrats blocking Republican efforts to advance the massive stimulus bill for the second day in a row.
Leaving the legislation in limbo once more, the Senate stalled over the package Monday afternoon on a 49-46 vote. It needed 60 votes to advance.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) then stormed to the floor to accuse Democrats of “mindless obstruction” that could drag out any action for days.
He said Democrats’ list of demands keeps getting “longer and longer.”
Democrats argue the more-than $1 trillion package did too much for large corporations and not enough for workers, but Republicans accuse them of playing politics and using the crisis as leverage to try and jam through unrelated political “wish list” items concerning climate change and more.
“The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said shortly before the vote.
“It is time to get this done. The American people expect us to act, they need action.
“We need to get this done for the American people.”
Thune slammed Democrats—specifically moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who just moments earlier said the bill was “weighted toward the Wall Street corporation side.”
“Here we are dilly-dallying around,” Thune said.
“This bill is about workers, families, people out there hurting economically—we’re in a position to do something about it and it is high time that we did.”
Emotions ran so high on the floor before the vote that at one point Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) implored colleagues to take a breath and focus on the work.
“We’re going to get this done today,” Durbin said.
“Everyone take a breath. Everyone is emotional today, but we’re going to get this done. We have a job to do.”
The package first failed Sunday in the face of Democratic opposition.
McConnell then called Monday for the re-do on the procedural vote to begin debate—to which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed.
That vote failed, again, shortly afterward.
“Republicans understand that a national crisis calls for urgency and calls for bipartisanship,” McConnell said earlier.
“It’s time for Democrats to stop playing politics and step up to the plate,” he continued.
“We’re at war with no ammo.
“Democrats are talking about this as if it is some juicy political opportunity.
“This is not a juicy political opportunity.”