WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 17: In this screengrab taken from a berniesanders.com webcast, Democratic … [+]
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Topline: In reaction to three GOP senators objecting to unemployment pay in the coronavirus stimulus bill, Senator Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., announced he was prepared to “put a hold” on the legislation to force stronger restrictions on the $500 billion intended for distressed businesses.
- Senators Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., held a press conference today objecting to the bill granting workers $600 a week more in unemployment than typical hourly wages, with Graham saying it “incentivized people to not go back to work.”
- The proposed amendment could delay the intended vote on Wednesday, but even if added, Sanders says he would take action: “Unless these Republican senators drop their objections, I am prepared to hold on this bill bill until stronger conditions are imposed on the $500 billion corporate welfare fund to make sure that any corporation receiving financial assistance under this legislation does not lay off workers, cut wages or benefits, ship job overseas or pay workers poverty wages.”
- According to a CNN reporter, citing a source with knowledge of the dispute, the unemployment pay would be temporary and not intended to incentivize workers to leave a full-time job and its benefits.
- Stocks on the day jumped 5%, but with the news that the GOP senators and Sanders may delay a vote Wednesday, they fell back down, gains cut back to 500 points for the Dow Jones.
Key Background: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wanted to vote on the agreed bill Wednesday, but a dispute could delay it for days. If passed, the $2 trillion package would be the largest economic stimulus bill in U.S. history. According to the Washington Post, there are 60,115 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. with 827 deaths.