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Senate GOP Blocks COVID Funding Over Fight To Keep Trump-Era Immigration Rules

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Republicans in the Senate successfully blocked a supplemental funding bill for COVID-19 relief amid growing calls to continue Title 42 immigration restrictions.

All 50 Republicans in the Senate voted against advancing the bill Tuesday, along with Democratic  Senators Ron Wyden (OR) and Chuck Schumer (NY). According to the New York Post, Schumer changed his vote at the last minute, a procedural move so that he could bring the bill to the floor again. Democrats need 60 votes to pass a procedural hurdle needed to advance the bill to debate and a vote, but Republicans threatened to kill the bill unless their demands for an amendment to keep Title 42 in place are met. The Trump-era rule which allowed the U.S. to expel migrants coming into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to end on May 23.

“There’ll have to be an amendment on Title 42 to move the bill,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters at a press conference after the vote, via The Hill. “There are several other amendments that we’re going to want to offer, and so we’ll need to enter into some kind of agreement to process these amendments in order to go forward with the bill.”

“Before we’re going to move forward with the bill, we have to have an amendment process agreed to,” Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney, one of the politicians who negotiated the package, added. Once the amendments were agreed upon, Romney said, the package could pass with “well more than” 60

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