GOP senators: More relief needed now

GOP senators: More relief needed now

Senate Republican support for moving the next coronavirus relief bill as soon as next month is growing after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers this week that the economic damage caused by the pandemic could last for years.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has put the brakes on further coronavirus relief negotiations, citing the budgetary impact of trillions of dollars in unanticipated spending. But a growing group of GOP senators, which includes some of the conference’s most vulnerable members in this year’s elections, say they shouldn’t let another month pass without significant progress on another economic relief package.

“I think June doesn’t need to come and go without a phase four,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who has been in contact with representatives of airlines and other industries hit hard by the pandemic. Wicker said the desire to make substantial progress on another relief package next month is shared by “almost everybody” in the GOP conference “in their heart” even though they might not be calling for quick action publicly. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of the chamber’s most vulnerable GOP incumbents, took to the floor Wednesday to urge her colleagues not to wait any longer on passing another relief package with hundreds of billions of dollars in additional aid to state and local governments.

“Congress has a tremendous responsibility to help mitigate the impact of this crisis on our states and our local communities and on the families they serve. We must not wait. We should act now,” she said.She warned that Maine may face one of the worst outcomes in the entire country in terms of lost revenues from plummeting income and sales tax, and said the projected shortfalls “threaten vital state and local services.”

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), another vulnerable incumbent, on Wednesday urged the Senate not to leave town for the weeklong Memorial Day recess after making little to no progress on another coronavirus relief bill.“It’s unfathomable that the Senate is set to go on recess without considering any additional #COVID19 assistance for the American people. Anyone who thinks now is the time to go on recess hasn’t been listening,” he tweeted.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), another vulnerable incumbent, on Wednesday urged the Senate not to leave town for the weeklong Memorial Day recess after making little to no progress on another coronavirus relief bill.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), another vulnerable incumbent, on Wednesday urged the Senate not to leave town for the weeklong Memorial Day recess after making little to no progress on another coronavirus relief bill.“It’s unfathomable that the Senate is set to go on recess without considering any additional #COVID19 assistance for the American people. Anyone who thinks now is the time to go on recess hasn’t been listening,” he tweeted.

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