Doug Jones joins Senate Dems in blocking consideration of coronavirus stimulus package
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Sunday voted against advancing the third round of coronavirus (COVID-19) relief funding.
Jones joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the rest of his Democratic caucus members present in voting against invoking cloture on the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package — H.R. 748. As reported by national outlets such as The Hill, Jones and his fellow Democrats effectively “blocked” the stimulus by filibustering.
Afterwards, futures for the S&P 500 fell by 5%, triggering a halt in trading. As of 10:50 a.m. CT on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 4.45% on the day.
An email from the Senate Leadership Fund blasted Jones and Senate Democrats for opposing cloture, calling it “one of the most craven and shameful maneuvers in recent history.”
“It is unconscionable for Senate Democrats to play politics while Americans are suffering during this crisis. Democratic Senate candidates across the country benefiting from Chuck Schumer’s political support need to answer whether they have the backbone to stand up to him on this irresponsible and dangerous maneuver. Silence is complicity,” stated Senate Leadership Fund communications director Jack Pandol.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) voted to support advancing the stimulus package, as did every other Republican voting.
The American people need our help in the midst of this emergency. I urge my colleagues across the aisle to help us agree on a comprehensive package so we can provide critical resources for those in need during this time of unease throughout our nation. Time is of the essence.
— Richard Shelby (@SenShelby) March 23, 2020
Politico and others have reported that the stimulus package is the result of bipartisan negotiations in the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has advised that H.R. 748 was headed to passage until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday announced her opposition to the package.
Regardless, in a statement after the vote on Sunday, Jones pointed the finger at Republicans for the package not advancing.
“We need a strong, bipartisan package that directly assists our workers, our health care providers, and vulnerable folks who need it most,” Jones said. “We have no time to waste, so I am hopeful that this failed vote reiterates the message to Leader McConnell that the time for games is over and we need to move tonight to a bill that can receive broad support from the Senate and also pass in the House. We’ve got more work to do on this bill to make sure we’re not leaving working families behind.”
Alabama’s junior senator also released a video about the vote.
We need a bill that does more for the working folks who are struggling the most, not no-strings bailouts for corporations. The Senate will get something done for the American people, but we need to stop wasting time on political games. pic.twitter.com/bFTJ1Ab6IZ
— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) March 23, 2020
Kevin Knoth, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, stated, “If Doug Jones was taking coronavirus seriously, he would have voted for the aid Alabamians need – but it’s apparent Jones would rather play partisan games with Chuck [Schumer] and Nancy [Pelosi] than serve the Yellowhammer State.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn