Dem Sen Warns Colleagues Not to Delay Coronavirus Stimulus With Partisan ‘Bickering’

Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) said Senate Democrats need to "quit the bickering" and focus on passing a coronavirus stimulus package, one day after joining fellow Democrats to block a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill.

"Both parties need to put down the partisan tools, quit the bickering, come to an agreement on things that will support our country in this pandemic crisis," Coons said Monday morning on MSNBC. "I frankly stand with the Democratic caucus on our values and our priorities in this bill. But at the end of the day there's a lot of pressure on us to get this done today."

Coons's comments come after Senate Democrats torpedoed a Republican aid package late Sunday night, claiming the package put too much money towards helping corporations. Coons joined 46 colleagues in voting against advancing the legislation.

MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin asked Coons about Republican accusations that Democrats are using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to accomplish their legislative priorities, leading Coons to warn against overreach.

"I do think that we frankly need to make sure that the investments that we're going to make in our community through this bill directly support the workers, the families that are going to be most directly affected by COVID-19," Coons said. "We ought to focus on that menu and not on things beyond that."

Mohyeldin cited student debt cancellation as an example of a policy goal Democrats have tried to include in the emergency relief measures, while Coons called on Democrats to focus on the immediate impact of the virus. Democratic House majority whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said last week the coronavirus was "a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision."