For the fourth consecutive week, we are discussing on a Friday the failure of Senate Republicans to make any movement whatsoever on another coronavirus stimulus bill.
As CNBC reports, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has adjourned the Senate for a month-long recess while the rest of America stares back dumbfounded:
The Senate is officially adjourned through Labor Day despite not coming to an agreement on its next coronavirus stimulus package.
Congress and the White House have spent the past few weeks debating what to include in the package, but have been unable to come to an agreement. One of the biggest sticking points: Jobless benefits. Democrats want a continuation of the enhanced unemployment payment of $600 per week, while Republicans say that amount is too high. Democrats are also pushing for more than $900 billion for state and municipal aid, and $60 billion in food assistance, far higher than what Republicans have proposed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the two sides would not strike a deal until Republicans added $1 trillion in aid to their bill.
That means a deal could be weeks away. Meanwhile, around 28 million Americans remain unemployed and many of the relief provisions from the first stimulus package have dried up. President Donald Trump has issued four executive orders to address some of the issues, but experts remain unconvinced that they will be efficient in helping vulnerable households.
McConnell says that he will call the Senate back into session “if” a stimulus deal is reached — though he continues to take virtually no role in the discussions himself. As we’ve noted repeatedly in this space (HERE, HERE, and HERE, for starters), this is not a complicated discussion; the Senate has failed to move on another coronavirus stimulus bill — the House passed the “HEROES Act” in May — and Republicans have majority control of the upper chamber of Congress. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can’t move a bill in the Senate, no matter how much McConnell blames her for his failures.
Remember, Senate Republicans haven’t just failed to advance a much-needed stimulus bill…going on recess at this point is McConnell admitting that they aren’t even trying to get something done.