Relief Bill Descends Into Insults on Senate Floor

Measure remains stalled as things get heated between Democrats and Republicans
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2020 2:04 PM CDT
Relief Bill Descends Into Insults on Senate Floor
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 23, 2020, as the Senate is working to pass a coronavirus relief bill.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – A huge coronavirus stimulus package—the one that would result in relief checks going to Americans—remained very much stuck in Senate limbo Monday afternoon. And things got seriously heated and chaotic on the chamber's floor, reports the Washington Post. For the second straight day, Democrats blocked a procedural vote that would have allowed the measure to advance. Chuck Schumer and the Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to pack the bill with partisan add-ons, including abstinence education, and Republicans accuse Democrats of doing the same, pointing to energy provisions unrelated to the virus outbreak, per the Hill. Meanwhile, Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin is negotiating with Schumer to get a deal everyone can live with by the end of the day. Some examples of the heated tempers:

  • Angry words: At one point, Democrats temporarily blocked GOP Sen. Susan Collins from speaking. "This is bull----," said Republican Tom Cotton. "This is unbelievable," said Collins.
  • Insulting everyone: "This country was founded by geniuses but it's being run by a bunch of idiots," said Sen. John Neely Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, from the Senate floor. The American people must be thinking that "the brain is an amazing organ," he added. "It starts working in a mother's womb and it doesn't stop working til you get elected to Congress."
  • Mitch McConnell: "The markets are tanking once again, as I said, because this body can’t get its act together, and the only reason it can’t get its act together is right over here on the other side of the aisle," said the majority leader.
  • Schumer: “We Democrats are trying to get things done, not making partisan speech after partisan speech."
(Read more Senate stories.)

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