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GOP senator: 'Unfathomable' that Senate will go on break without passing coronavirus bill

GOP senator: 'Unfathomable' that Senate will go on break without passing coronavirus bill
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerCunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race MORE (R-Colo.) on Wednesday said that it is "unfathomable" that the Senate will leave for a one-week break before passing additional coronavirus legislation.

"It’s unfathomable that the Senate is set to go on recess without considering any additional #COVID19 assistance for the American people. Anyone who thinks now is the time to go on recess hasn’t been listening. Coloradans and Americans alike have sacrificed and are hurting," Garder tweeted. 

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Gardner, who is facing a tough reelection bid in November in a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE lost in 2016, pointed to myriad outstanding issues the Senate needs to address, including modifying the Paycheck Protection Program, passing a stimulus bill to tackle unemployment and help states reopen, and addressing coronavirus cases within nursing homes. 

"It’s our job to help get the country back to work and make it through #COVID19. Now is not the time for the Senate to go home," he added in a subsequent tweet.

Gardner's tweets come as the Senate is poised to leave Washington, D.C., for a week-long Memorial Day recess on Thursday afternoon. 

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To head out of town, the Senate will need to establish pro forma sessions — brief, constitutionally mandated meetings that block recess appointments — and then adjourn. McConnell normally does both of those things by unanimous consent, meaning Gardner could, if he wanted to, try to block him. 

The Senate is not expected to pass additional coronavirus legislation before they leave town, with leadership in both parties telling The Hill that they did not expect a deal until at least June.  

The House passed a roughly $3 trillion bill last week, but that legislation has been declared "dead on arrival" by GOP senators. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress MORE (R-Ky.) indicated to reporters after a closed-door lunch on Tuesday that they were still reviewing the roughly $2.8 million already appropriated by Congress. Trump was asked during the lunch if he had a timeline for when he wanted the next bill, but did not give a specific date, according to senators. 

"I have indicated that we still believe with regard to the coronavirus we need to assess what we have already done, take a look at what worked and what didn't and we will discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks," McConnell said.