Senate Republicans said on Tuesday that they expect to be in session next week as negotiations on a fifth coronavirus bill appear to be at an "impasse."
The tentative plan, described by GOP senators leaving a closed-door lunch, means the Senate will be in Washington, D.C., for at least the first week of a previously scheduled four-week break that had been expected to start on Friday.
"We have been told we would likely be back next week, unless we somehow finish this week," said Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns MORE (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (R-Texas), an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.), told reporters that "we'll be in session next week, if we don't get a resolution this week."
The House left town last week. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Hoyer affirms House will vote Sept. 27 on bipartisan infrastructure bill House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (D-Md.) has said he will call House members back to Washington with a 24-hour heads-up once there is an agreement ready for a vote.
The negotiations are between Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE, leaving most lawmakers to get updates from reporters and leadership.
Asked why the Senate would stay in town if most aren't directly involved in the talks, Cornyn added, "How do you think it looks for us to be back home when this is unresolved? This is the most important thing we need to be doing."
McConnell hasn't announced a change to the Senate's schedule. Asked about being in session next week, a spokesman for the GOP leader said, "the Leader will let everyone know when we have an update and / or guidance."
Negotiators say they are making progress in the most recent talks on Saturday and Monday but they still remain far apart on significant sticking points like unemployment insurance, state and local aid and McConnell's red line of liability protections for businesses.
Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCrypto debate set to return in force Press: Why is Mo Brooks still in the House? Eshoo urges Pelosi to amend infrastructure bill's 'problematic' crypto regulation language MORE (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, told reporters after a closed-door lunch with Mnuchin and Meadows that the talks are at an "impasse."
"Nothing’s happened," he added.