Here's the Story That Tanked Today's Rally

Sen. Bernie Sanders threatens to block $2T relief bill
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2020 4:15 PM CDT
Here's the Story That Tanked Today's Rally
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., departs Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, after the Senate passed a second coronavirus response bill.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Senate's $2 trillion stimulus package ran into trouble Wednesday when Republicans looked at the fine print on unemployment insurance—and Sen. Bernie Sanders took a bold stand, CNBC reports. The provision allows for more unemployment insurance for a longer time, to help anyone who loses their job during the coronavirus pandemic. But four GOP senators (Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, Ben Sasse, and Rick Scott) bristled at the idea of adding $600 a week for up to four months, saying it would motivate employers to lay off workers and workers to remain unemployed. "If this is not a drafting error, then this is the worst idea I have seen in a long time," said Graham, per the New York Times. "We need to create a sustainable system."

But Sanders stood up and threatened to block the bill if Republicans wouldn't allow the provision. "It would be an outrage to prevent working-class Americans to receive emergency unemployment assistance included in this legislation," he said, per Bloomberg. He added that if he did slow down the bill, he would try to "make sure that any corporation receiving financial assistance under this legislation does not lay off workers, cut wages or benefits, ship jobs overseas, or pay workers poverty wages." Sanders' stand appeared to undo a stock market rally but didn't fully erase the day's gains, which marked the first day-to-day gains since the outbreak began. (The relief bill appeared ready to go on Wednesday morning.)

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