U.S. Senate polarized over next coronavirus aid package

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate leaders on Wednesday held onto their radically different positions on what is needed to address the continuing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, one day before a vote on a modest Republican bill that appeared destined for defeat.

Reuters September 10, 2020 00:12:30 IST
U.S. Senate polarized over next coronavirus aid package

US Senate polarized over next coronavirus aid package

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate leaders on Wednesday held onto their radically different positions on what is needed to address the continuing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, one day before a vote on a modest Republican bill that appeared destined for defeat.

The Republican bill, unveiled on Tuesday, would provide around $300 billion in new aid for schools, businesses, medical supplies and other coronavirus-related costs. It was drastically scaled down from a $1 trillion plan Republicans offered in July and far from the more than $3 trillion Democrats have been pushing.

Democrats are expected to block the Republican bill from advancing, arguing that there is nothing bipartisan about it and that it falls far short of the nation's needs during a pandemic that has killed nearly 190,000 people in the United States and brought massive job losses.

"Do you want to do something? Or do you want to do nothing?" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said in a speech in which he said Thursday's vote would "expose" Democrats' "obstruction."

"They (Democrats) do not want any bipartisan relief whatsoever to reach American families prior to the election" on Nov. 3, McConnell said.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer countered: "It is impossible to look at this GOP proposal and not wonder - 'Do our Republican friends see the damage in America?'"

He listed a series of shortcomings in the Republican bill, including the lack of food and rental assistance, aid to state and local governments whose revenues have fallen during the pandemic and more money for election security at a time when Americans worry about traveling to voting centers for fear of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus.

Despite the dissonance between the two parties, Schumer held out hope for an eventual compromise.

In an interview with CNN, he said there was "a good chance" of a coronavirus aid bill being enacted into law once Republicans realize Democrats will not go along with an "emaciated" legislative response.

But it was unclear whether any such deal would emerge anytime soon after a series of negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats sputtered.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Richard Cowan; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.