McConnell said the Senate will “cautiously” proceed to the next phase of coronavirus relief, although calls for more help from bipartisans are increasing rapidly. And he said that all 100 senators must be there before Washington spends more money on an unprecedented economic bailout of workers and businesses affected by the virus.
“You saw the conversation on both sides about trading, but my goal from the start, given the extraordinary numbers we are doing for government debt, is that we have to be as careful as possible. McConnell said. “We have to see how things work, what needs to be corrected, and I think the next time we get a coronavirus rescue bill, we’ll have everyone here and everyone busy.”
After arguing over McConnell’s original proposal to send a quarter of a billion dollars to revive the exhausted paycheck protection program for two weeks, the Senate signed a contract on Tuesday that provides more help to small businesses, hospitals, and disease tests. But it was neither easy nor pretty, and the episode revealed the pitfalls of attempting the law while the Senate was on hiatus.
McConnell said his goal is still to bring the Senate back on May 4, despite nationwide uncertainty about the spread of a virus that has killed more than 40,000 Americans. However, it is clear that the ongoing pause will become unsustainable: Two Republican senators raged openly in the Senate on Tuesday that they passed bills without input from individual Congress legislators. Had either objection been raised, the bipartisan deal would have derailed and the senators would have joined D.C. been dragged back.
“It’s time to do our job. It’s time to go back to Washington and get to work,” said Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). “We can’t legislate here without our members.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Said he would not request a recorded vote that would upset McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y. )’S plans to quickly adopt the rescue package. But he warned of the “massive debt that Congress creates”, called for the economy to open and officially registered his opposition to the bill. He also offered to request remote voting, but McConnell blocked him.