Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"An ambulance sits outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C on March 23, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Democrats Applauded for Again Stopping GOP 'Corporate Bailout That Leaves Americans Behind'

"It may make a lot of people rich, but it doesn't have the resources in it today to take care of the most vulnerable in this country."

Jake Johnson

For the second time in less than 24 hours, a largely united Senate Democratic caucus on Monday stopped Republicans from advancing a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that progressives have characterized as a massive bailout for corporate America that leaves ordinary people out to dry.

"Republicans' priority is giving no-strings-attached bailouts to industry, and letting the virus spread by shortchanging healthcare providers and states. That's a recipe for disaster."
—Sen. Chris Murphy

The procedural motion on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—which one Senate Democrat derided as a "show vote"—failed by a margin of 49-46 with just one Democrat, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), joining Republicans in voting yes.

Robert Reich, the former secretary of labor, urged the U.S. public to not "listen to the pundits trying to spin" the vote as a bad move by Democrats in the midst of a global health crisis.

"Senate Dems were right to reject this corporate bailout," tweeted Reich.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who was quick to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the failed vote Sunday night, reacted angrily to the second consecutive procedural failure on Monday, accusing Democrats of "filibustering programs to keep people on the payroll."

Senate Democrats—joining progressive advocacy groups, unions, and others—have criticized the CARES Act as a business-friendly measure that would establish a $500 billion "slush fund" for big corporations while doing little to protect workers or provide much-needed economic relief to the public. As an alternative to the GOP's measure, progressives are demanding a stimulus package that centers the needs of workers and the most vulnerable.

"Republicans' priority is giving no-strings-attached bailouts to industry, and letting the virus spread by shortchanging healthcare providers and states," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted following the vote Monday. "That's a recipe for disaster. Why on earth would ANYONE support that? Let's write a bill that stops the virus."

In a speech from the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Murphy further explained his opposition to the Republican measure.

"We don't think your bill works. We don't think that the bill that has been drafted by the majority party is going to fix the problem," said Murphy. "It may make a lot of people rich, but it doesn't have the resources in it today to take care of the most vulnerable in this country, and it's not going to do the primary job at hand, which is to stop the virus."

Senate Democratic leaders are expected to continue negotiating with the Trump administration over the specifics of the sweeping stimulus measure. Meanwhile, House Democrats are expected to unveil their own legislation in the coming days.

"We have an obligation to get the details right, get them done quickly," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a speech on the Senate floor. "That doesn't mean blindly accepting a Republican-only bill."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Democrats Push to Lift Ban on Student Loan Bankruptcy Relief

"Modernizing and clarifying the consumer bankruptcy system is long overdue," said a leader at Public Citizen, one of many groups backing the bill.

Jessica Corbett ·

Fetterman Calls Biden Marijuana Pardons and Reforms a 'BFD'

"Too many lives—and lives of Black and Brown Americans in particular—have been derailed by this criminalization of this plant," the progressive Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Pennsylvania asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·

Judge's Ruling Puts New York Gun Control Efforts on Path Back to Supreme Court

"Judges award themselves maximal protection against guns and then tell parents around the country that they have no power to keep guns out of daycare," said one critic.

Julia Conley ·

'Next Up? Legalize It': Advocates Cheer Biden Move to Pardon Marijuana Convictions

"This is what pressure and advocacy look like," said anti-poverty activist Joe Sanberg. "This must be the first of many steps to ending our decadeslong failed policies on marijuana."

Brett Wilkins ·

At Least 66 Clinics in 15 States Have Ended Abortion Care Post-Dobbs

Over a third of those facilities have fully closed, meaning patients also lost "access to contraceptive care, STI testing and treatment, and pregnancy care," said a Guttmacher Institute researcher.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo