Today, Senate Democrats blocked the proposed $2 trillion bailout in a 49-46 vote.
They are complaining that the bill is too favorable to corporations and doesn’t provide sufficient worker protection or support for the healthcare sector.
Perhaps they share President Trump’s view that taxpayers shouldn’t “give a bailout to a company and then have somebody go out and use that money to buy back stocks in the company and raise the price and then get a bonus”.
“I may be a Republican”, declared Trump on Sunday, “but I don’t like that. I want them to use the money for the workers“.
Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) claims he is negotiating in good faith with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and says he wants to ensure that 1) worker protection is included in the bill and 2) the $500bn fund for industries has proper controls to avoid shareholders siphoning the bailout money.
As expected, both sides are blaming each other for the failure to reach an agreement.
Senator John Kennedy (R-La) summed up the situation by declaring that “The country was founded by geniuses but it’s being run by a bunch of idiots“.
Indeed, the economic situation is dire and urgent action is required. The Dow Jones has lost over 10K points in the last six weeks and millions of workers have already been laid off. With more than 35,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, an ever growing number of states are implementing lock-downs to avoid contagion. This is putting increased pressure on businesses, many of which are facing closure.
The failure to reach an agreement reflects poorly on Mnuchin who had insisted that a deal be reached today. After three days of unsuccessful negotiations, he was hopeful that both sides would reach a compromise.
Talks will resume tomorrow but it’s unclear which side of the aisle will be first to compromise. The only certainty is that the American corporations and workers need a deal to be implemented quickly avoid an economic catastrophe.
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