WPRI 12 News Washington DC Bureau

Senate Dems urge McConnell to end July 4 recess, saying COVID-19 relief bill can’t wait

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Despite being in recess, a group of Senate Democrats are calling upon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the lawmakers back to the Capitol to take up the next coronavirus relief package ahead of schedule.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, is urging McConnell, R-Kentucky, to cancel the rest of the Senate’s July 4 recess so they can discuss the coronavirus relief package, which was passed by the House seven weeks ago.

“We should have never left town,” Blumenthal said. “We are up to our necks, not only in the healthcare crisis, but also in an economic emergency.”

Blumenthal said McConnell is failing to respond to the pandemic.

“[We’re] facing the most serious catastrophic crisis of our lifetime in both healthcare and our economy,” Blumenthal said.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, agrees with Blumenthal, adding that Senate lawmakers have work that can’t wait.

“The virus isn’t stopping and so Congress shouldn’t stop,” Van Hollen said. “Mitch McConnell on the other hand decided to take time out.”

Van Hollen says the bill, called the Heroes Act, would provide aid to state and local governments, increase testing and provide economic relief to Americans struggling to put food on the table.

The push to cancel the recess comes as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, with more than 58,000 new cases reported on Tuesday alone.

On Monday, McConnell signaled that the Senate is expected to take up another coronavirus relief package, but it will have to wait until they return from recess.

“We had hoped we’d be on the way to saying goodbye to this healthcare pandemic, clearly it is not over,” he said.

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