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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 GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 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 TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts 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 McConnellThe Memo: Biden puts 9/11 era in rear view Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP 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.