Some Democrats growing antsy as Senate talks drag on

Some Democrats are growing antsy over striking a deal on the economic stimulus after two votes to advance the fiscal rescue package failed, sending stock markets deeper into their decline.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' A renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs MORE (D-N.Y.) promised Monday morning that he and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress | Trump complains of 'political prosecution' | Biden rebukes Trump, rolls out jobs plan Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Why Trump can't make up his mind on China MORE were “very close” to a deal, but by the evening, they still had not announced an agreement.  

With the stock market in turmoil and predictions of double-digit unemployment gaining steam, some Democrats are getting anxious to pass a bill as Republicans hammer them by the hour for holding up the process.

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“I want to see this clock ticking. I want both sides to be under the gun and under pressure,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) said after voting with Republicans on Monday to proceed to the bill. Every other Democrat voted against moving forward.

Jones, who is up for reelection, said he was “absolutely” sick of the political games and wanted to see a deal later in the day.

“My vote now is to say let’s get it done,” he said.

Other Democrats said they hoped to see an agreement announced by the end of Monday.

“I hope and expect we’ll have a handshake deal today,” said Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineFinger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (D-Va.).

Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHealth care group launches M ad campaign hitting Trump in battleground states The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Senate outlook slides for GOP MORE (D-Mich.), another incumbent on the ballot in November, said that “everybody feels a sense of urgency.”

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“I think we all know it’s got to be done quickly,” he said.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterInternal poll shows tight battle in Montana House race Bipartisan Senate group offers bill to strengthen watchdog law after Trump firings Senate confirms Trump's watchdog for coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mont.) said the talks “need to be urgent” but “need to be done right.”

He joked that at the current pace, the House, which just got back to Washington after a weeklong recess, might wind up passing a phase three stimulus bill before the Senate finally wraps up its negotiations.

“If we don’t hurry up, they’ll get it done before we get ours done,” he said. “So it would be good if we got ours done.”

Republicans, sensing strong public support for passing a stimulus bill quickly, are pummeling their Democratic colleagues for holding out for additional protections for workers and restrictions on how a $500 billion corporate loan program would be managed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Ernst: Renaming Confederate bases is the 'right thing to do' despite 'heck' from GOP Advocacy groups pressure Senate to reconvene and boost election funding MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday hammered Democrats for pushing what he called a “wish list” of liberal priorities such as tax deductions for solar and wind energy, provisions to “force employers to give special new treatment to big labor,” and emissions standards for the airlines.

“The markets are tanking once again because this body can’t get its act together,” he said.

A Senate GOP aide familiar with the talks said Democrats wanted Secretary of Labor Eugene ScaliaEugene ScaliaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Miami pauses reopenings as COVID-19 infections rise, schools nationally plot return Sunday shows - FDA commissioner declines to confirm Trump claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are 'harmless' Labor secretary: 'I believe we can continue to reopen our workplaces safely' MORE to draft a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard for hospital workers in an extremely compressed period of time.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (R-Maine) warned that “we don’t have another day.”

“We don’t have another hour. We don’t have another minute to delay acting,” she said.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Romney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention MORE (R-Ohio) pointed out that the Senate bill already includes a massive expansion of unemployment benefits.

“It’s the most generous unemployment insurance plus-up by far ever in the history of our country,” he said. “It adds eight times more funding into the unemployment system for the rest of this year than is currently being spent.”

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) on Monday afternoon pounced on the stalled negotiations to attack Democrats for “playing games while people’s lives are at stake.”

“For the second time in less than 24 hours, Senate Democrats held the U.S. economy hostage and threatened the health and safety of millions of Americans because they see this national crisis as a golden political opportunity they are incapable of letting go to waste,” said NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt.

Democrats also faced criticism from less partisan sources.

Steven Rattner, a contributing writer to The New York Times and the former head of President Obama’s automobile industry rescue effort, accused Congress of “fiddling” and praised the Fed for taking decisive action.

That prompted Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyConnecticut senators call for Subway to ban open carry of firearms Democrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate Gridlock mires chances of police reform deal MORE (D-Conn.) to defend his leadership’s tactics by tweeting shortly before 9 a.m. Monday that “spending 18 extra hours to get $2 [trillion] is worth it.”

Now it looks like the talks will extend well past 18 hours as the two sides haggle over funding for hospitals and community health centers, paying down federal student loans, and GOP-favored language that would exclude Planned Parenthood from receiving federal aid.  

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Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads George Floyd and the upcoming Texas Democratic Senate runoff Energy companies cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline MORE (D-W.Va.), a prominent centrist who voted twice with Democrats to block the GOP-drafted stimulus bill, said Democrats would act quickly to move legislation once there is agreement.

“If we get an agreement, I’ll tell you every Democrat will vote to suspend the rules and move,” he said.

At the same time, Manchin expressed impatience with last-minute Democratic demands to provide tax credits for wind and solar companies and carbon-emission restrictions on the airlines.

“I’m not for that,” he said of items that are being “thrown in” to the talks.

“I’m not for the Green New Deal. I think you all know that,” he told GOP colleagues on the floor.

“Forget about the Republicans. Forget about the Democrats. Let’s get this place working,” he exhorted colleagues.