We are now nearing the end of September and there are no signs of another relief package. With less than 50 days to go until the election, the chances of the next relief package and coronavirus stimulus checks are fading fast. Moreover, some Senate members on Capitol Hill are also hinting that there might not be another round of coronavirus stimulus checks before the election.
Members may leave Capitol Hill early
With Election Day nearing, some Senate members could be planning to leave Capitol Hill early. A point to note is that Congress is not scheduled to go on recess until October. However, there are reports that some Senate Republican members may return home as early as the end of next week to prepare for the election.
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Republican senators believe negotiations between the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are unlikely to result in a deal, and that their vulnerable colleagues want to get back to their home state for the election campaign, according to The Hill.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune also admitted that it would be good if vulnerable members return home to campaign. Thune said it would be in the interest of the members to wind up their work on Capitol Hill “by the end of next week with the Jewish holidays coming the following week."
"I'm sure both sides like to have their members out there," Thune said, according to The Hill.
Another GOP senator said the plan for members is to “leave next week after the CR and come back after the election." A short-term spending measure, called a continuing resolution, or CR, would avert a government shutdown at month’s end. This plan, however, is not yet official. Still, it does hint of Senators’ expectations of fading chances of another round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
The Senate won’t be in the office on September 28 and 29 in observance of Yom Kippur. They will be back on September 30 (Wednesday). Also, the Senate is not scheduled to go on recess until October 9. Since no major bills are expected to come up for voting except for the funding stopgap, many members may leave for their home early.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, has indicated that the House will remain in session until there is a deal on the relief package. Pelosi may also use Democratic leverage on the CR to force the Senate to reconsider its exit plans.
Republican lawmakers, however, argue that in case of any breakthrough on the relief package, they can always return to the Capitol Hill to vote. But, the chances of another round of coronavirus stimulus checks before the election are slim despite recent comments from President Donald Trump, who urged Republicans “to go for the much higher numbers” to strike a deal.
Top Democrats, on Tuesday, rejected a $1.5 trillion offer put forward by a bipartisan group, saying it is not enough. This makes it clear there is unlikely to be any deal soon.