March 22, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe made the following statement today after Senate Democrats refused to support a procedural vote that would have moved the Senate closer to a vote on the CARES Act, the third coronavirus relief package:
“This crisis facing the American people is extraordinary, and I had been so proud of the bipartisan cooperation we had been receiving from the Democrats. It was working great until Nancy Pelosi entered the picture late Sunday afternoon and convinced Senate Democrats to block the advancement of legislation that would provide desperately needed coronavirus relief.
“The CARES Act contains bipartisan priorities, including accelerating the development of a coronavirus vaccine; the manufacture of more ventilators, masks, and personal protective equipment for nurses and doctors; guarantees that coronavirus testing will occur without any costs to patients; substantial funding for hospitals and rural health clinics to treat those suffering from the coronavirus. The legislation also provides financial support for families in Oklahoma and fully funds the mandates imposed on small businesses by last week’s bill.
"This is unacceptable. Their partisan stunt has cost us precious time.”
Motions to proceed are debatable – this vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed would have allowed the Senate to start the 30 hour clock before having a vote on the motion to proceed and then eventually final passage. Bills can still be amended after the blocked procedural vote, but before final passage.