Senate Skips Vacation to Work on Coronavirus Package

The Senate is skipping its vacation set for next week to work on a fiscal package to fight the impact of the coronavirus. Democrats have proposed emergency paid sick leave, increased jobless benefits and free testing.
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The Senate is abandoning its vacation, scheduled for next week, as Congress works to adopt a fiscal package to counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus.

“Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a tweet. 

“I am glad talks are ongoing between the administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.”

While Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was negotiating a package Thursday, President Donald Trump was harshly criticizing Democrats’ efforts.

He doesn’t like what he called “goodies” in the Democrats’ fiscal proposal. The measures include emergency paid sick leave, increased unemployment benefits, and free coronavirus testing.

“There are things in there that have nothing to do with what we’re talking about,” Trump told reporters during a visit with Ireland’s prime minister, Bloomberg reports. 

“So, it’s not a way for them to get some of the goodies that they haven’t been able to get for the last 25 years.”

Before Trump’s comments, Pelosi told reporters that the changes Mnuchin sought were “very reasonable,” according to Bloomberg.

At this point the House plans to vote on a stimulus bill Thursday and still plans to start a week-long recess Friday.

More than 133,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported, and almost 5,000 people have died. 

In the wake of the pandemic businesses large and small say they are suffering. The spread of the coronavirus has caused universities to switch to virtual classrooms and sports leagues, including the NBA and NHL, to suspend their seasons