Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went to the door and slammed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a corporate stimulus Republican bill and partisan screech.
Politico reports the following.
AsSenate Democrats went to the floor Sunday night to vote — the first time they’dbeen there in days — they had one thing on their minds: a secret “slush fund”for Corporate America.
That’swhat Democrats are calling a $500 billion “Exchange Stabilization Fund”included in the massive Senate GOP proposal to rescue the U.S. economy from thecoronavirus crisis. The fund, which would come under the control of TreasurySecretary Steven Mnuchin, is designed to aid distressed industries. It includes$58 billion for U.S. airline and air cargo companies, a source of significantcontroversy during the last three days of closed-door talks between senators ofboth parties and the White House.
But thelanguage drafted by Senate Republicans also allows Mnuchin to withhold thenames of the companies that receive federal money and how much they get for upto six months if he so decides.
That wasway too much for Democrats, many of whom lived through the political furorsurrounding the 2008 financial-services industry bailout. They remember facingthe populist backlash and being pounded by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.They aren't going to do it again.
“We’regonna give $500 billion in basically a slush fund to help industries controlledby Mnuchin with very little transparency? Is that what we ought to be doing?”asked Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii.).
“We'renot here to create a slush fund for Donald Trump and his family, or a slushfund for the Treasury Department to be able to hand out to their friends,”railed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who made corporate accountability a bigpart of her White House campaign. “We're here to help workers, we're here tohelp hospitals. And right now, what the Republicans proposed does neither ofthose. “
Evenmoderate West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin lashed out at the Republicans overthe lack of controls on the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
“It’sthrowing caution to the wind for the average person working on Main Street,it’s balls to the walls for the people working on Wall Street,” Manchindeclared. “It’s the same ol’ story from Mitch McConnell.”
Senate Democrats had other high-profile issues thatalso led to their Sunday vote to block the stimulus bill. They sought fourmonths of increased unemployment insurance support, but only got three months;they sought hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency funds for hospitalsand other health-care providers to combat the coronavirus, yet Republicansbudgeted just $75 billion; and they asked for hundreds of billions for a “StateStabilization Fund” to help state and local governments hurt by the loomingeconomic slowdown, while Republicans offered far less.
But the key to the unanimous set of Democratic ‘no’votes — and what made it easy for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)to line them up — was the “slush fund” accusation.
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