After voting to block coronavirus stimulus package, Jones supports advancing the bill one day later
After voting Sunday to block a massive coronavirus (COVID-19) relief funding package from advancing, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Monday flipped his vote on the very same procedural motion.
Jones broke with his Democratic colleagues on the second, identical vote within 24 hours to invoke cloture on H.R. 748, which represents a total economic stimulus approaching $2 trillion.
In a remark to CNN after the Monday vote, Jones reportedly said he was “embarrassed” at the partisan fighting that continues to play out over the package.
Jones’ opposition to the bill advancing the previous day came after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced her opposition to the measure. Pelosi and fellow Democrats are reportedly attempting to force language championed by environmentalists into the coronavirus relief bill, including tax credits for solar and wind energy companies.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), an Alabama native, took to the Senate floor on Monday to blast the Democrats’ demands, which he said also include “provisions to force employers to give special new treatment to big labor, and listen to this — new emissions standards for the airlines.”
“Democrats won’t let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal,” McConnell lamented.
“Are you kidding me? This is the moment to debate new regulations that have nothing, whatsoever to do with this crisis,” he added. “That is what they are up to over there. The American people need to know it!”
McConnell further pointed to how the negotiations over the package were bipartisan in the Senate until Pelosi voiced her opposition on Sunday.
“We were this close. We were this close. Then yesterday, the speaker of the House flew back from San Francisco,” McConnell advised.
Sixty votes are needed to break the Democratic filibuster and invoke cloture on the package. After invoking cloture, the chamber could move to a final vote on H.R. 748.
Jones’ office did not immediately respond to Yellowhammer News’ request Monday afternoon for comment. This article will be updated if a statement is provided.
UPDATE 7:05 p.m.
Jones tweeted out a video with his thoughts on the Monday vote.
We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 24 hours and so today I voted to move the process forward—but make no mistake this bill needs major changes before it would earn my full support, including:
✔️ $$$ for our cities/counties
✔️ ️full transparency for the $500B relief fund pic.twitter.com/3ZWqwVP8ko
— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) March 23, 2020
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn