On Thursday, April 9, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a proposed $250 billion of additional funding for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which is designed to help small businesses. With most senators out of Washington, D.C, the only sessions held are so-called proforma meetings, where no business is conducted but they meet the legal test of being in session.

As these usually see a handful of senators on the floor able to vote but unable to meet the usual requirement that a quorum of 51 senators be present, the only way an item can pass is through the Unanimous Consent (UC) process. With reports that the initial $350 billion in the PPP was close to being oversubscribed Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, with the support of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the White House, wanted to increase the PPP funding by $250 billion.

However, Democrats want to have more funding for hospital and state and local government included in the UC agreement, something the Republicans didn't accept. Democrats weren't willing to accept the PPP increase as a standalone measure. Since each party objected to the other’s proposal, Unanimous Consent could not be reached on any proposal.

Additionally, if the McConnell proposal had been able to pass under the UC procedure it wo...

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