Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is attempting to hold up $50 billion in farm aid during negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus bill, a GOP aide tells The Spectator.
Schumer is ‘holding hostage’ aid given to farmers through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), a USDA-owned entity, according to the aide.
The farm aid is just the latest piece of the stimulus package to which Democrats have raised objections. A potential deal to move forward on a bill failed Sunday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer said they disagreed with the GOP’s approach to bailouts for big businesses. Both claimed the bailouts did not include enough protection for workers.
The pair also, however, were apparently dissatisfied with the lack of unrelated progressive policies advanced in the Senate’s bill. Pelosi had a ‘laundry list’ of other items she wanted included, according to reports, such as election security funding, wiping out some student loan debts, expanding the wind and solar tax credit, and increased fuel emissions standards for airlines.
The Spectator has reached out to Sen. Schumer’s office for comment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the last minute interruption on the Senate’s coronavirus bill, which would have also included direct payments to Americans and assistance to small businesses, amounts to ‘obstruction’.
‘So we’re fiddling here, fiddling with the emotions of the American people, fiddling with the markets, fiddling with our health care. The American people expect us to act tomorrow,’ McConnell said. ‘And I want everybody to fully understand if we aren’t able to act [Monday], it’ll be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dicker when the country expects us to come together and address this problem.’
Pelosi intends to introduce her own version of the coronavirus package this afternoon.