Capitol Correspondence - 09.08.20

Senate GOP Might Not Have Enough Votes for “Skinny” COVID-19 Proposal

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After a brief hiatus while Congress was on August recess, ANCOR has doubled down on its #ForgottenFaces campaign to stress to Congress the urgent need to break the stalemate surrounding additional COVID-19 relief funding. The article by Politico Pro below illustrates the political environment surrounding these discussions. We encourage our members to amplify our efforts on social media, share stories about how Direct Support Professionals are going above and beyond in their duties during this pandemic, and stay tuned for action alerts specific to funding needs in the very near future.

“The Senate returns from its August recess Tuesday with no signs of progress on a new coronavirus relief package — and only days to reach a deal before lawmakers head back home to campaign.

Despite weeks of high-level talks between the White House and Democratic congressional leaders, a bipartisan compromise is increasingly unlikely before the election even as millions of Americans remain unemployed and the coronavirus’ death toll continues to rise.

Republicans are eager to raise the pressure on Democrats, but their latest gambit may fall short.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Senate Republicans have been scrambling to round up votes for a narrow economic stimulus package they could put on the floor and hammer Democrats for opposing. The $500 billion-plus proposal includes $300-per-week federal unemployment payments on top of regular state benefits, another round of funding to aid small and medium-sized businesses, liability protections for businesses, schools and charities, and $105 billion for education, among other provisions.

But some Senate Republicans want to include language related to “school choice” programs, complicating the process for McConnell and party leaders. As of now, McConnell doesn’t even have 51 votes for the Republican proposal, according to GOP senators and aides, let alone the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues remain opposed to the Republican initiative. They’ve joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi in calling for at least $2 trillion in new spending, and Senate Democrats will block further action if it comes up for a vote this week.”