It's been six months since Congress passed the CARES Act and despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic remains a problem, they have not yet made any headway on a second stimulus package. Over the past several months, lawmakers have been trying to agree on another package without success, with both Democrats and Republicans blaming the other side for this impasse. Now, Congress is preparing to go on yet another recess in advance of the November election and there is still no word on whether another stimulus package is on the way.
While lawmakers are preparing to take another recess in order to go on the campaign trail, South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said on Wednesday that they were trying to take action on a House-passed government funding bill this week, per CNN. This measure, which is known as a continuing resolution, is being floated around to other members of the Senate. They are reportedly sending this measure around in the hopes that they can get unanimous consent on it as soon as Thursday. If it does garner unanimous consent, they would be able to avoid the procedural hurdles that would force them to return to the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 30, to approve the bill on the final fiscal day of their year. As of right now, it's unclear whether it would be able to garner enough support, as even some fiscal conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, are reluctant to agree on a bill of this nature.
Thune has also voiced his frustrations with the Democrats, saying that they are to blame for why no stimulus legislation has been passed. "The Democrats seem to be saying that we would rather have zero than have what we put up," he said, referring to the skinny, stimulus proposal that Republicans recently proposed. "At this point we're not seeing cooperation with Democrats on a reasonable or realistic bill." In turn, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that the Republicans are the ones to blame for this impasse, as they are not proposing legislation that would be sufficient for Americans navigating this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "We have to meet the needs of the American people. This is not a check the box or the path of least resistance," she said on Friday. "They have contempt for science and disdain for state and local government."