Senate rejects latest relief legislation

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Senate rejects latest relief legislation


The U.S. Senate voted down two bills that would have provided over $500 billion in COVID-19 relief, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) reported.

The first bill would have restarted the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with additional funding for small business loans, including eligibility for 501(c)(6) organizations. It received support from all Republicans and six Democrats but fell short of the 60-vote threshold required to advance the bill.

The second bill was a more comprehensive package which included $500 billion in relief. It contained a number of NLBMDA-backed priorities including employer liability protections, reduced supplemental unemployment insurance of $300 per week, additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, and PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) organizations.

The legislation received unanimous support from Republicans but all Democrats voted to block the measure and it fell short of the required 60-vote threshold. 

COVID relief negotiations between the White House and Congress remain at a standstill, the NLBMDA said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continue to discuss a $2 trillion proposal while Senate Republicans have indicated they prefer a package around $500 billion. There remain additional hurdles such as disagreements over employer liability protections, reduced supplemental unemployment benefits, and additional aid for state and local governments.

A vote by Congress on a final bill remains unlikely before the Nov. 3 election. 

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