U.S. lawmakers are split on the next steps needed to handle the unprecedented economic challenges caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The $3 trillion aid bill passed last week in the Democratic-majority House of Representatives has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate before lawmakers leave Washington for the Memorial Day break. Negotiations on a compromise show few signs of progress.
"We need to assess what we've already done. Take a look at what worked and what didn't, and we'll discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
McConnell has cautioned that Congress should evaluate the impact of the first CARES Act, the largest relief package in U.S. history, before adding further to the national debt. But even as most U.S. states begin phased reopenings of businesses and other public places, Democrats warn the crisis is far from over.
"Republicans have a long history of underestimating this crisis and the funds needed," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday.
"Leader McConnell said Republicans still want to pause. What planet are they on? The coronavirus isn't taking a pause. The job losses aren't taking a pause. The people being evicted from their homes aren't taking a pause. They seem to be ignoring all of the economic alarms that are sounding without further action," he continued.
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