The Clock Just Ran Out On $600 In Weekly Unemployment Benefits

Senate Republicans let the clock run out on $600 of weekly Covid unemployment benefits.

Clock Ran Out

Q: What were Republicans doing? 

A: Discussing alligator sausage and Louisiana, not a Covid package.

This story sounds like it is straight from The Onion, but it isn't.

Race Against the Clock 

Please consider the Bloomberg article McConnell’s Stimulus Waiting Game Turns Into Race Against Clock

It’s a time crunch of their own making. Republicans and Trump squabbled all week over the details of the plan, forcing McConnell to delay the release of the GOP proposal until Monday. That gives Congress almost no time to avoid a lapse in the unemployment aid.

The expiration is now less of an inducement to get Democrats to the negotiating table than a potential albatross they will try to drape around the necks of endangered Senate Republicans.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted a “fundamental agreement” among Republicans on a package of spending and tax cuts, and some Republican senators said they were expecting to see bills released as soon as Thursday. When it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, they waited for details at lunch.

Instead, they got alligator sausages courtesy of Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and little more.

We talked about Louisiana and alligators,” South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds said. “Honestly. We say, ‘Mitch what do you got?’ And he said, ‘We’re working on it. Not much to report yet, but we’re working on it.’”

Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who opposes the stimulus plan, said after the lunch that “We just found out that we weren’t going to find anything out.” Senators left Washington for the weekend with no bill text and plenty of details still to iron out.

The Clock Won

The Bloomberg article is wrong about one key thing. The clock is not about to run out. Rather, it just did. 

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