Democrats blocked a coronavirus package on Sunday that would provide economic relief to businesses and Americans suffering from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Senate GOP package failed, with 47 votes in favor and 47 against, which fell 13 votes short of what was necessary to advance the legislation.
An angry Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed Democrats for voting against the bill and blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for nixing bipartisan negotiations over a coronavirus package.
“I want everybody to fully understand if we aren’t able to act tomorrow, it will be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dicker when the country expects us to come together and address the problem,” the Senate leader said on Sunday.
McConnell added that there was bipartisan consensus among “regular members of the Senate, not in the Leadership office, not in the speaker’s office for goodness sakes.”
“She’s the Speaker of the House, not the Speaker of the Senate,” he added. “We were doing just fine until that intervention.”
In contrast, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blamed Republicans for advancing legislation without an agreement.
Schumer said on the Senate floor:
The majority leader was well aware of how the vote would go before it happened but he chose to go forward with it anyway even though negotiations are continuing. So who’s playing games? But our caucus is united to deliver a bill that addresses this health and economic crisis quickly and we’re committed to working in a bipartisan way to get it done.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee slammed Senate Democrats for blocking the legislation.
NRSC Communications Director said in a statement on Sunday:
Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Senate Democrats allowed partisan fervor to thwart a critical coronavirus relief package while our country faces a crippling pandemic. DSCC-backed candidates last weekend had no problem throwing partisan barbs at the same Republican senators working day and night to find solutions to the complex problems facing their constituents at home. Those same candidates should prove they aren’t beholden to their chief benefactor Schumer and disavow Senate Democrats’ unthinkable decision to filibuster.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said in a statement on Sunday:
How pathetic. Tonight’s vote was not even on passing a bipartisan plan, it was merely to begin debating it. The American people are hurting, the clock is ticking, but Senate Democrats would rather cave to Speaker Pelosi’s eleventh-hour demands. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle should worry more about getting relief to their constituents and less about the House Speaker’s partisan wish list. This cannot go another day.
After congressional Republicans and Democrats were in the final stages of negotiating a long-term coronavirus package deal with the White House, Pelosi announced that House Democrats will move forward with their own bill.
“From my standpoint, we’re apart,” she said earlier on Sunday.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.