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Democrats block McConnell’s $2 trillion stimulus plan a second time amid coronavirus pandemic

March 23, 2020, 6:38 PM UTC

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Senate Democrats again refused to advance McConnell’s $2 trillion stimulus plan Monday as the coronavirus continued spreading amid dire predictions of a deep economic recession.

The 49-46 vote with 60 needed, following a similar vote late Sunday, blocked McConnell’s latest version of the plan, which had been the product of frenzied bipartisan negotiations over the weekend.

“Why are the American people still waiting?” McConnell said on the Senate floor before the vote. “The markets are not doing well today.”

He accused Democrats of pushing unrelated “wish-list items” such as solar energy tax credits and new emission standards for airlines. “This is the moment to debate new regulations that have nothing whatsoever to do with this crisis?” McConnell said.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he has had “almost continuous negotiations” with Mnuchin. He said they are close to reaching a deal and his goal is to do so Monday.

The Democratic leader said Monday’s vote was essentially “irrelevant” because his party will be ready to move ahead “once we have an agreement that everybody can get behind.”

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