GOP Paycheck Protection Program bill fails in Senate

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTV) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s stand-alone Paycheck Protection Program bill that aimed to help small businesses failed in the Senate Tuesday.

It comes as Democrats and Republicans are still at odds over more federal coronavirus relief two weeks until Election Day.

“The PPP has been taken hostage by Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) criticized the vote and said it would’ve allowed struggling businesses to help them stay afloat.

“Unfortunately, my colleagues across the aisle are letting politics get in the way, preventing us from delivering this relief,” Capito said. “This should have been avoided. Instead of playing politics with the livelihoods of hardworking Americans, we should be doing what the American people sent us here to do. I urge my colleagues to do their job and join us in finding a solution quickly.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he supports standalone bills, but not if they don’t have bipartisan support.

He told reporters Tuesday this bill leaves out many nonprofits and support for rural hospitals.

Manchin called it just a ‘messaging bill’ and 'political ploy’ that Republicans can use to say Democrats are fighting proposed coronavirus relief packages. He said it 'wasn’t intended to pass’ and McConnell didn’t invite bipartisan talks on the package.

“He didn’t want any participation, didn’t ask for it, and left West Virginians behind,” Manchin said. “I’m sure there are people that get helped with this and they’re tickled to death, but it doesn’t fix the long-term problems for our economy and market.”

Manchin also said he doesn’t agree with how Rep. Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.) has approached negotiations with larger packages. He’d support Congress coming together to agree on individual bills that address immediate needs.

But he doesn’t believe something will pass before Election Day.

“We are in a no-win situation on a COVID package," Manchin said. “You got to do it all-inclusive. You can’t just shove it down their throat in a partisan manner.”

The Senate on Wednesday is set to vote on a $500 billion stimulus bill that Democrats blocked last month.

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