More delays from Washington, as Senate recesses without a deal on new COVID stimulus package
Washington, DC – The Senate has entered its customary August recess, setting up votes on judicial appointments before adjourning until September 8. This all but ensures that another round of coronavirus stimulus, including $1,200 checks, will not materialize anytime soon. Senators will receive 24 hours notice to return to Washington for votes in the event a consensus is reached on a new stimulus package. Any deal reached during the recess will require unanimous consent of all Senators to receive a vote.
This comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump officials failed to reconvene discussions on the overall amount of the next stimulus package. Democrats initially unveiled a $3 trillion package, known as the HEROES Act, as a starting point of negotiations and offered accept a $2 trillion package as a compromise to the $1 trillion GOP proposal. Politico reported that negotiators remain “miles apart” on the funding plan with the key sticking points being the amount for state and local governments, schools, and unemployment compensation. Pelosi maintains there will be no more talks until GOP leaders agree to a $2 trillion plan.
The impasse led President Trump to issue four executive orders over the weekend to circumvent Congressional delays on student debt relief, a federal eviction moratorium, payroll tax deferral, and increased unemployment compensation. However, many of his orders raised questions of legality and feasibility of implementation without the approval of Congress. Adding to Congress's woes, the federal government's power to spend money expires on September 30. If Congress fails to allocate more dollars, then a government shutdown will occur. Some political observers expect the government funding to be wrapped into the coronavirus talks when Congress returns.
In the meantime, Alabama reported 695 new cases and seven new deaths earlier today. The confirmed hospitalizations according to the BamaTracker data site, are down to 1,365 patients – nearly 300 less than earlier this month.