- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Senate Republicans’ first bid to pass targeted coronavirus relief with a stand-alone bill on Paycheck Protection loans for small businesses failed Tuesday afternoon, with Democrats blocking the measure for being too narrow.

It failed on a 40-57 vote.

The PPP was established by the $2 trillion stimulus deal passed back in March and refunded in April. However, the program that helped many small businesses stay alive and paying their employees expired back in August when talks for a fifth coronavirus deal collapsed.

The bill that tanked on Tuesday would have provided for a second round of those loans.

Democrats have repeatedly blocked Republicans’ efforts to pass slimmed-down coronavirus relief, holding out for a more comprehensive legislation.

The Republicans will try again on Wednesday with a vote on their $500 billion package that would include $300 a week for boosted unemployment benefits, more than $100 billion for schools, and additional funds for testing, contact tracing and vaccine research.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is, in turn, trying to get a vote on the $2.2 trillion package passed by the House earlier this month.

“We are making an effort to bring to the floor the HEROES 2 bill, the bill that passed the House that would have a realistic chance of helping people. And it has many things in it that are not in either bill that is being brought up today & tomorrow by the Republican Senate stunt,” the New York Democrat said at a press conference.

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