Tempers flare as Democrats again block action on rescue package

Tempers flare as Democrats again block action on rescue package
Tempers flare as Democrats again block action on rescue package

Democrats on Monday blocked action for a second straight day on an over $1 trillion economic plan to offset the impact of the Coronavirus, as the Senate floor turned into an unusually heated verbal battleground, as Democrats accused the GOP of pressing a huge Wall Street bailout, while Republicans said Democrats were risking an implosion of the economy by slowing action.

"The country is burning," said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). "And your side wants to play political games."

"The American people don't want another corporate bailout," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who drew language which wasn't fit for the Congressional Record from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

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"We are in the midst of a crisis," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), her voice giving off anger on the Senate floor.

"This is a national emergency," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who lambasted Democrats repeatedly on the Senate floor.

Republicans bristled at frequent charges from Democrats that the GOP was pushing a bill which would keep the American public in the dark about $500 billion in loans for the airlines and other major industries.

"It seems like we're more focused on big corporations and the health care of Wall Street," said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who repeatedly talked about nurses and doctors in his state who were already short on needed supplies to deal with the virus.

"Don't tell us this has been a bipartisan effort," said Brown of Ohio, as he labeled one part of the plan a 'slush fund' for the Trump Administration and big business.

Even while the old spittoons were melting a little on the Senate floor, negotiations continued between Democrats and White House officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"We're making a lot of progress," Mnuchin told reporters, even as Senators blasted each other a hundred feet away.

Only one Democrat broke ranks and moved to start debate on the legislative vehicle for the rescue plan, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), as the Senate voted 49-46 to proceed.

60 votes were needed.