Senate Finds Compromise For Second COVID Relief Bill
By Claire Hardwick
While the American people have been eagerly waiting for Congress to find some sort of compromise in order to pass a second COVID relief bill, the end to the political drama is in sight. As unemployment continues to rise and families are crunched during the holiday season, the bill is a sign of hope.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has played hardball throughout the fall, and insisted on more funding in the bill, has signaled the House and Senate will vote on a $900 billion cornavirus bill as early as today. Schumer said that after weeks of negotiations, a compromise is “very close.”
The two leaders in the bill’s compromise have been Schumer and Senate Republican Pat Toomey. The provision that senators could not get passed was one about the Federal Reserve’s authority to provide emergency loans to businesses.
The package will be included in the spending bill, which is required to keep the government open.
Schumer told reporters when leaving the Capitol late Saturday night, “It looks like we’ll be able to vote in the House and Senate. If things continue on this path and nothing gets in the way, we’ll be able to vote tomorrow.”
President Trump, who has urged Congress to find a compromise for a bill and sent Mark Meadows and Steve Mnuchin to do most of the negotiation, clearly heard of the progress. In a late night tweet, Trump said, “Why isn’t Congress giving our people a Stimulus Bill? It wasn’t their fault, it was the fault of China. GET IT DONE, and give them more money in direct payments.”
Why this matters: Congress now has less that 24 hours to read an entire stimulus bill, as well as the spending bill. For many people outside of Washington, they wonder how Congressional leaders decide to vote, and why they always vote down party lines. The fact is, that no Congressman will be able to read the entirety of the bill before they are forced to vote for it. They then have to rely on their leaders of their party to tell them how to vote. For many lawmakers, this is the most frustrating part of being on Capitol Hill, as the power really is top down. Many times, bills are negotiated and debated until the final hour, with the final copy being thrown at members who then have to vote for it. This is why the leaders of a party in Washington are crucial, but it is also a problem with the system overall.