Coons votes against draft relief bill; 'we have to support' health workers

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, was one of 46 senators in a March 23 procedural vote against a Republican-drafted coronavirus response package.

The procedural measure, also known as an “up and down vote,” required a 60-vote majority to pass. The relief bill is currently being renegotiated by the Senate, and another procedural vote is expected March 24.

Coons joined MSNBC on March 22 to discuss the coronavirus legislation, outlining his concerns about the lack of spending accountability and the inadequate support for working families and front-line health care professionals.

“At the highest level virtually, all of the Democratic caucus mid-afternoon had to put the brakes on and say there’s just not enough in this bill to support higher education and student loan relief, to provide for accountability about how some of these massive new pools of hundreds of billions of dollars will be used to support industry,” said Coons. “There isn’t enough in here that would provide for vote-by-mail to make sure that our elections can go forward this fall securely and most importantly … in support of state and local government.”

“I spent 10 years in county government,” said Coons. “I know that our local governments can get money out on the street fast, but they are also the employers of the front-line public health workers: the medics and ambulance drivers and paramedics and nurses and hospital orderlies and doctors in county hospitals who are doing so much of this work. We have to support them.”

The full interview is available at