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Democratic Plan Backfires as McConnell Looks to Force 'Vote-a-Rama' in Senate

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Democrats in Congress have been attempting to use budget reconciliation rules in order to pass President Joe Biden’s radical coronavirus stimulus plan without having to face a filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided two can play at that game.

According to Fox News, the Senate was expected to finish debating on the resolution Thursday. After that, they move into a stage known as a “vote-a-rama.”

“During that time, any senator is entitled to file an amendment to the resolution, which could result in dozens of votes on various provisions going late into the night and even early into Friday morning,” Fox reported.

McConnell is planning to fight fire with fire by forcing Democrats to vote on controversial topics like higher taxes for small businesses and funding for school districts that refuse to open despite evidence that it’s safe to do so.

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“The new president talks a lot about unity, but his White House staff and congressional leadership are working from the opposite playbook,” McConnell said.

“We’ll be discussing the facts. … Senate Republicans will be ready and waiting with a host of amendments to improve the rushed procedural step that’s being jammed through.”

The Republicans appear to be giving the Democrats an ultimatum. Either they have to admit that policies like raising taxes on small businesses during the pandemic are problematic and vote against them, or they will be on the record voting for policies many Americans find unpopular.

Predictably, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of trying to “score political points” with their amendments before they were even submitted.

Is McConnell right to use this "vote-a-rama?"

“What amendments our friends in the minority propose is entirely up to them,” Schumer said. However, he explained that he wants Republicans not to use “the debate over pandemic relief to sharpen … partisan talking points.”

With these comments, Schumer is subtly trying to paint the picture that the Republicans are the bad guys for holding up the relief.

In reality, many of the amendments that have been discussed have everything to do with the pandemic, and their purpose is to make Democrats take a hard look at how much help their policies are actually providing.

For example, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri proposed an amendment that would encourage schools to safely reopen for the benefit of many U.S. children.

“In spite of overwhelming evidence that schools can reopen safely, partisan advocates are using children’s education as a cudgel to push their radical agendas,” Hawley said in a statement.

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“The effect on children and working-class families has been absolutely devastating. The federal government should put an end to this two-tiered education system for the haves and the have-nots by incentivizing schools to safely reopen.”

As much as Schumer and the Democrats would like to, they can’t escape the hypocrisy of their plans.

They want to ram through a stimulus plan to supposedly help the American people, but many aspects of that very plan are causing more harm than good.

If schools that refuse to open continue to get money, why would they be enticed to reopen at all? If Democrats are trying to help small businesses, why would they support tax increases on them?

McConnell is cleverly using the Democrats’ plan against them, and they are not very happy about it.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.




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