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Gone Fishin’


Since everything in the country is going swimmingly, Mitch McConnell is just going to take the rest of the month off:

The Senate is officially adjourned through Labor Day despite not coming to an agreement on its next coronavirus stimulus package.

Congress and the White House have spent the past few weeks debating what to include in the package, but have been unable to come to an agreement. One of the biggest sticking points: Jobless benefits. Democrats want a continuation of the enhanced unemployment payment of $600 per week, while Republicans say that amount is too high. Democrats are also pushing for more than $900 billion for state and municipal aid, and $60 billion in food assistance, far higher than what Republicans have proposed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the two sides would not strike a deal until Republicans added $1 trillion in aid to their bill. 

That means a deal could be weeks away. Meanwhile, around 28 million Americans remain unemployed and many of the relief provisions from the first stimulus package have dried up. President Donald Trump has issued four executive orders to address some of the issues, but experts remain unconvinced that they will be efficient in helping vulnerable households.

For the Republican conference in the Senate, immiserating people is even more important than their own direct political self-interest.

As Charles puts it:

The long view of history is going to conclude that the political genius of Mitch McConnell was strictly limited to his ability to muster a majority to employ every chokepoint in an 18th-century Constitution to make sure that a Black man who was elected to be president was not able to act fully as president. (He also managed to use a docile majority to lard up the federal bench with larval Scalias.) But now, as the Majority Leader of the Senate at a time of multiple national crises, McConnell has been exposed as the emptiest suit since Claude Rains’s pants ran down the street without him.

He has been both unwilling and unable to wrangle his majority behind even the shabbiest facsimile of an economic relief package, and every day he fails to do so attaches him more firmly to a corrupt and impotent presidency*.

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