09.10.20

Whitehouse Calls for Restarting Bipartisan Negotiations on New Relief Bill After “Skinny” Republican Proposal Fails in Senate

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today issued the following statement after the Senate voted to reject an inadequate COVID-19 relief proposal put forth by Senate Republicans:

“Senate Republicans have slapped together a woefully inadequate bill, which is one-sixth the size of the aid package House Democrats passed in May. Four months and millions of COVID-19 infections later, Republicans’ main priority continues to be letting corporations off the hook for negligently putting their employees in harm’s way. Rhode Islanders need relief now. They are counting on Republicans in Congress to stop playing politics with their health and financial security and to start negotiating a good-faith response to a national crisis.”

Whitehouse joined all members of the Democratic caucus in voting against the so-called “skinny” proposal, which did not provide any funding for cash-strapped state governments or adequate unemployment benefits. The bill failed in a 52-47 vote.

In May, the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act—a robust $3-trillion aid package designed to lift the economy, keep state governments afloat, and fortify the health care system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has for months refused to take up the legislation, and bipartisan negotiations between the Trump administration and congressional leaders broke down over the summer.