Senate delays expected return until May | TheHill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop Georgia Republican endorses Doug Collins Senate bid Bottom line Senate punts stalled coronavirus aid to Thursday MORE (R-Ky.), after consulting with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDozens of progressive organizations call on Congress to fund vote-by-mail efforts Senior Democrat casts doubt on House returning next week Pelosi, Schumer to GOP: ‘Stop posturing’ on stalled coronavirus aid MORE (D-N.Y.), has announced the Senate will not reconvene in Washington sooner than May 4, two weeks later than the previously scheduled date.

“As the country continues working together to flatten the curve, following the advice of health experts, the full Senate is not expected to travel back to Washington D.C. sooner than Monday, May 4th,” McConnell said in a statement.

“All members will receive at least 24 hours’ notice if this changes. This bipartisan decision reflects consultation with Leader Schumer and my colleagues in Senate leadership,” he added.

The GOP leader warned, however, that funding for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program “will run dry this week if we do not pass more money.”

He reiterated his request to add another $250 billion to the small-business lending program, without also adding money for hospitals and state governments as Schumer and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMore than 180 groups urge Congress to pass 0 billion in unrestricted aid to state, local governments Overnight Health Care: Trump fires back at critics during briefing | Trump claims he has authority on when to reopen states | Governors form groups to discuss plans | Fauci offers support to Trump | House delays return On The Money: Trump claims he has power to decide when to reopen states | Governors forming groups to discuss reopening | Senate caught in standoff over relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded.

“Clean funding for worker pay in a crisis should not be controversial. I hope our Democratic colleagues will let Congress act this week. American workers deserve paychecks, not pink slips caused by political games,” McConnell said.

House Democratic leaders announced Monday that the House will not reconvene before the week of May 4 and that lawmakers will be given sufficient notice if they need to come back to Washington before then for emergency legislative action.

The Senate will continue to hold pro-forma sessions every few days, a tradition carried over from under the Obama administration to prevent the president from making recess appointments.

McConnell noted Tuesday that 70 percent of the CARES Act funding for the small-business Payroll Protection Program “has been already allotted in just a week and a half.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate committee to investigate origin of, response to coronavirus pandemic Amash teases possibility of third-party presidential bid Overnight Health Care: Trump fires back at critics during briefing | Trump claims he has authority on when to reopen states | Governors form groups to discuss plans | Fauci offers support to Trump | House delays return MORE, Secretary Mnuchin, and Senate and House Republicans simply want to add more funding for this job-saving program that both parties designed together. There is no time to insist on sweeping renegotiations or ultimatums about other policies that passed both houses unanimously,” the GOP leader said, pushing back on Democratic calls to spend an additional $100 billion on hospitals and $150 billion to shore up state and local budgets. 

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