The Senate failed to advance COVID-19 relief legislation on Sept. 10 after a 52-47 procedural vote. The $500 billion Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act (S.178) fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation to the Senate floor.
The measure was deemed a “skinny” package in comparison to the more comprehensive Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (Heroes) Act (H.R. 6800) passed by the House in May [see Washington Highlights, May 15].
The legislation, proposed by Senate Republican leadership, contained liability protection measures; $257.7 billion in small business loans; $29 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund within the Education Stabilization Fund; $47 billion for testing, vaccine, and therapeutic development; $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, and other programs.
Negotiations on another COVID-19 relief package stalled after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were unable to agree about the size of the next relief package. The last relief package signed into law was the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) [see Washington Highlights, April 24].