No COVID relief package until after the election, at the earliest
WASHINGTON - Following the 52-48 vote Monday to confirm Judge Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) adjourned the Senate.
COVID relief remains on the table until the Senate reconvenes on Nov. 9.
The $2.2 trillion package passed by the Democrat-controlled House on Oct. 1 was not taken up by the Senate. A $500 million package proposed by Senate Republicans was short of the 60 votes needed and was defeated in the Senate on Oct. 21
Both President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged for weeks to pass a new package before the election to provide small business and employment assistance. As late as Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stated on CNN that an agreement between the administration and Pelosi would be brought to the Senate floor and passed.
On Monday, no mentions of the package were included on the Senate schedule. Sparrings over the size and scope of a new package and a singular focus on Barrett’s confirmation made the prospect of passing a package in the Senate before the election bleak.
Now, with a third of the Senate up for election including McConnell as well as the president and all members of the House, the likelihood and timeline for a new package may depend on the outcome of the election.