Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) accused her Democratic colleagues of “playing with fire.”
Her remark comes in response to Democrats blocking movement on a package that is Congress’ third effort to offset economic pains amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers are trying to come to an agreement when it comes to a third coronavirus stimulus package. However, on Sunday, Republicans and Democrats clashed as Democrats blocked the nearly $2 trillion package from moving forward. The Senate didn’t have the votes — as it was 47-47 vote — to advance the legislation.
Among those who offered criticism was Collins, who said, “This is irresponsible and unwise. They are playing with fire,” according to The New York Times.
Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sunday, “The American people expect us to act tomorrow, and I want everybody to fully understand if we aren’t able to act tomorrow, it will be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dither when the country expects us to come together and address this problem.”
The American people expect us to act. If we fail, it will be because Senate Democrats are continuing to dither while the country expects bold, bipartisan action. pic.twitter.com/23pFHoDtCl— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 23, 2020
It is essential that Congress stop its partisan bickering & work together to protect workers’ paychecks. On the Senate Floor this evening, I implored my colleagues to deliver urgently needed aid for the employees of small businesses throughout our nation.https://t.co/QmVugExGi1— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) March 23, 2020
Not all hope is lost, as Republicans and Democrats still have confidence they can come to an agreement.
“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have an agreement. But we don’t need artificial deadlines. We will get this done,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor on Sunday. “We will come in at noon and hopefully we will have an agreement by then.”
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also issued a response, as she told reporters, “It’s on the Senate side now because that’s their deadline for a vote, but we’ll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it’ll be compatible with what they discussed on the Senate.”
She also wrote in a statement to Democratic colleagues:
“There is at this time a big difference between the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act and what the Senate Republicans are proposing. As the Senate continues to talk, we must continue to act For The People.”
I just spoke in the Senate about how we’re making progress on a bill.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 23, 2020
The McConnell-GOP bill includes huge bailouts without protections for people and workers and without accountability.
It has shortfalls of money for our hospitals & medical workers.
This needs to be changed. pic.twitter.com/7ggVKrwV6l