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Congress Nowhere Close to a COVID-19 Deal as Unemployment Spikes

Senate Republicans have no plans to unveil an alternative to House Democrats' massive relief bill

Americans hoping for the next round of coronavirus (COVID-19) relief will probably be waiting for weeks — if not much longer.

Though House Democrats on Friday passed a sweeping, $3 trillion stimulus bill built around aid for local governments and a fresh batch of direct payments to the public, the Republican Senate majority has no immediate plans to produce an alternative. Instead, senators are expected to consider a handful of lifetime judicial appointments this week and then head home for the Memorial Day recess.

There’s basically zero bipartisan talk among congressional leaders right now in Washington about what to do next. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have no plans to hash out their differences, primarily because they don’t even agree on whether a bill is needed immediately. President Donald Trump is noncommittal.

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