U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, said Monday, “We are going to get this done,” when talking about a stimulus bill that both parties agree is needed to avoid an economic meltdown from the shutdowns that have been ordered by authorities to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 24 hours,” Jones said in a video statement.
We've made a lot of progress in the last 24 hours and so today I voted to move the process forward—but make no mistake this bill needs major changes before it would earn my full support, including:
✔️ $$$ for our cities/counties
✔️ ️full transparency for the $500B relief fund pic.twitter.com/3ZWqwVP8ko
— Archived: Senator Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) March 23, 2020
Jones has been criticized widely by Republicans for his vote not to end debate on the stimulus bill that was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, on Sunday.
Jones said that he did not vote against the bill but instead voted no on a procedural vote on a bill that has not been written yet.
“Make no mistake this bill needs major changes before it would earn my full support,” Jones said. Jones said that he wants a stabilization fund for cities and states who are “hemorrhaging money” right now.
The bill creates a $500 billion fund for the Secretary of the Treasury to address needs in the economy. Jones says that he supports that but wants more transparency. “The administration wants no guardrails and no transparency,” Jones said. “I want to know where it is going.”
“I don’t think anybody wants to give the Secretary of the Treasury a $500 billion slush fund,” Jones said
Jones said that the no vote on ending debate helped create progress on reaching a compromise bipartisan bill.
“More progress has been made in the last 24 hours,” Jones said. “We need to get the clock ticking and not have this protracted negation.”
Jones said that the Republicans have agreed to more money for families and more money to help small businesses than what was in the earlier package but that the negotiations have “two huge holdups.” One is the lack of transparency in the Treasury stabilization fund and the other the lack of a fund to backstop cities and states.
Jones said that there are a lot of things that Democrats want in the bill that they aren’t going to get and Republicans aren’t going to get everything that they want in the stimulus package.
Jones urged citizens to continue their social distancing.
“Please keep your social distancing,” Jones said. “Some people say we have gone too far. We haven’t gone far enough.” Over one hundred Americans died today. “We need to be concerned, very concerned.”
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, voted in favor of McConnell’s stimulus bill.