Senate Goes on Weeks-Long Recess Without Reaching a Coronavirus Relief Deal

Senate is expected to be gone until Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day. Twitter users slammed the decision, as the next stimulus package remains in limbo.

Mitch McConnell

Image via Getty/Mandel Ngan/AFP

Mitch McConnell

The Senate is officially on break for the remainder of August, despite failing to reach a coronavirus relief deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the decision Thursday, amid stalled negotiations over the next stimulus package. The Senate is expected to return on Sept. 8; however, there's a slim chance the Senate can be recalled if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer manage to resume negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

"We will have our regular pro forma meetings through the end of the state work period," McConnell said Thursday, according to the Hill. "If the Speaker of the House and the minority leader of the Senate decide to finally let another package move forward … it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than schedule."

BREAKING: Senate adjourns until after Labor Day despite not reaching a deal on a new coronavirus aid package.

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 13, 2020

The Senate was supposed to adjourn for a summer recess last Friday, but McConnell extended the August legislative session to this Thursday in the hopes of finalizing the next stimulus bill. 

Congressional leaders have spent the last several weeks debating on what the relief package would include and how much money would go into it. Democrats have pushed for a $2 trillion to $3 trillion relief package, while Republicans want no more than $1 trillion of federal spending. The parties also disagree on how to continue federal unemployment benefits, funding for states, and liability protections. 

Pelosi told reporters Thursday she was unclear when negotiations would resume: "I don't know. When they [Republicans] come in with $2 trillion," she said. "We can't wait until Sept. 30. People will die."

As lawmakers return home from D.C., countless Americans continue to struggle financially amid the pandemic. Unemployment benefits under the previous stimulus package have expired and it's been months since the first round of stimulus checks were sent out. Many slammed the Senate for abandoning the sessions, as the unemployment rate remains over 10 percent and the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow.

You can read some of the reactions below.

Isn’t Labor Day in September??? They just keep showing time and time again that they don’t care

— Ijee (@ijeoma____) August 13, 2020

I find myself constantly wondering how Senators sleep at night. “After Labor Day” is another round of monthly bills due or past due, not to mentions weeks of groceries.

— Cortlan (@CeeDoubleUBee) August 13, 2020

To the Senate, you have the balls to adjourn ubtil after Labor Day while there are thousands and thousands of families out there with no money coming in for food and housing? You all should be voted out and you deserve it

— Ernest T Bass (@ErnestT44085472) August 13, 2020

Senate adjourns until after Labor Day having passed no relief bill for the people something the gop never took seriously but the corps got theirs early so we know big business is secure even if belongings on the front lawn or parking lot of someone’s former residence is not.

— Relax&TakeNotes (@Igotawaywitwrds) August 13, 2020

The Senate is adjourned until after Labor Day without a pandemic relief package in place for the public, who they “serve”. Wtf do we pay them for? Another 1st of the month will pass by. Another month of no support from the federal government. Do your fucking job @senatemajldr

— LivBDub (@livviej15) August 13, 2020

Moscow Mitch just sent the Senate home until after Labor Day !

Good luck if you're losing your home or can't put food on the table !

Trump will try to blame Pelosi, who is just trying to get the minimum assistance for the millions that are suffering !


— John Burnette (@jnniii16) August 13, 2020

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