Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked Republicans' so-called "skinny" coronavirus aid bill, which would have provided $300 billion in economic relief.
The chamber voted 52-47 in favor of the legislation, but it needed 60 votes to pass. All Republicans but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., approved the package.
"Every Senate Democrat just voted against hundreds of billions of dollars of COVID-19 relief," tweeted Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "They blocked money for schools, testing, vaccines, unemployment insurance, and the Paycheck Protection Program.Their goal is clear: No help for American families before the election."
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, though, accused McConnell of "looking for political cover" and said the package doesn't go far enough.
"Sen. McConnell is trying today to jam through his GOP COVID bill that doesn't help renters keep a roof over their heads or families put food on the table," he tweeted.
Republicans unveiled the Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act earlier this week after returning from recess. It was meant as a counter to a $3.4 trillion bill House Democrats passed in May but has not yet been raised in the Senate.
The Republican package included an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits as well as another round of loans for businesses with fewer than 300 employees under the Paycheck Protection Program.
It also provided liability protection for businesses, hospitals, churches and schools from COVID-19-related lawsuits, a $10 billion loan for the U.S. Postal Service, $105 billion for students throughout the country to return to classrooms, $16 billion for COVID-19 testing, $31 billion for the development of a vaccine and therapeutics, $20 billion in relief for farmers, and $500 million in federal assistance for fishers.
The measure was designed to put pressure on Democrats to agree to some form of coronavirus relief before the election.