Senate Minority Leader (R-Ky.) on Friday made a failed bid to adjourn the Senate and punt the debate on the Democratic coronavirus bill until Saturday.
McConnell’s move came after the Senate sat in limbo for nearly 12 hours on Friday as Democrats tried to work out a deal that could win over all 50 members of their caucus.
“They want to begin the vote-a-rama that could have been done in daylight because of their own confusion and the challenges of getting together 50 people to agree on something when they could have doing it quicker on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said. “So rather than start the voting at five minutes to 11, I move to adjourn until 10 a.m.”
But Democrats were able to vote down the effort. In addition to controlling the majority, because Vice President Harris can break a tie, Republicans were also short a vote because Sen. (R-Alaska) flew home for a family emergency.
The effort to punt until Saturday comes after Democrats created a new record for the longest vote in modern Senate history when they left open a vote on Sen. ‘s (I-Vt.) minimum wage proposal for almost 12 hours.
Democrats left the vote open while they huddled in closed-door meetings to try to come up with an unemployment payment deal that moderate Sen. (D-W.Va.) could support.
Democrats announced that deal shortly before 8 p.m., but are still waiting on a Joint Committee on Taxation score.
Despite McConnell’s opposition, Senate Majority Leader (D-N.Y.) is pledging that the Senate will power through Friday night and likely into Saturday morning in order to wrap up the nearly $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
“Now that this agreement has been reached, we are going to power through the rest of the process and get this bill done,” he said. “Make no mistake: we are going to continue working until we get the job done.”
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