WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today issued the following statement after Senate Democrats once again voted to block consideration of targeted pandemic response legislation that would have provided immediate relief for small businesses, struggling farmers and unemployed Americans while negotiations on more contentious issues continue.
“Once again, Democrats are playing election year games by insisting on their all or nothing approach instead of working to provide immediate relief to millions of American families, small businesses and farmers while other issues remain unresolved.
“Families across the country are trying to navigate this pandemic the best they can. This package would have delivered additional relief for schools and colleges to educate students safely and support parents by providing more funding for child care. It also would have provided a second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and additional help for the unemployed. Yet Democrats blocked it, even though they claim to support these bipartisan initiatives.
“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have also expressed concerns about the public health implications of this pandemic. Yet they blocked this relief package which would have provided $16 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing as well as $31 billion for vaccine, therapeutic, diagnostic development and vaccine distribution.
“These are commonsense policies that we can all agree on. Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues have wasted an opportunity to help Americans who are hurting just so they can try to score political points,” Grassley said.
Senate Republicans have continued to try to pass a targeted package of relief measures but Senate Democrats have declined to negotiate after rejecting Senate Republican’s $1 trillion HEALS proposal. The targeted bill was voted down in the Senate today by a vote of 51-44, with every Senate Democrat voting against the package, just as they did last month when they obstructed
a similar relief package. President Trump and Republicans have called for passing specific relief items where there is widespread support, but Speaker Pelosi has made clear that, “"there is no standalone bill without a bigger bill."