GOP blocks Senate COVID bill, demands votes on immigration

GOP blocks Senate COVID bill, demands votes on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have blocked a Democratic attempt to begin Senate debate on a $10 billion COVID-19 compromise that is just a day old. The GOP wants to entangle the bipartisan pandemic package with an election-year showdown over immigration restrictions that poses a politically uncomfortable fight for Democrats. The COVID-19 bill would provide money for treatments, vaccines and testing. But a Democratic move to push the measure over a procedural hurdle failed 52-47, with all 50 Republicans voting no. As a price of their support, they want Democrats to give them a vote on an amendment that would keep Trump-era immigration restrictions from expiring next month.

Photo: Nurse Esma Radoncic, left, prepares to take a nasal swab from Eric Antosh at a COVID-19 testing site in Brooklyn run by NYC Health + Hospitals on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)