Senate Goes On Recess As Virus Relief Talks Reach Stalemate

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Senate Goes On Recess As Virus Relief Talks Reach Stalemate
If a deal is finalized, lawmakers will be given at least 24 hours to return to Washington, D.C., to vote on any relief package.
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The Senate is officially now in recess through Labor Day after negotiations regarding another coronavirus relief package stalled in Congress.

U.S. senators were originally scheduled to leave Washington, D.C., for a month-long recess last week. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept the chamber in session in an attempt to give the Trump administration and congressional Democrats more time to strike a deal.

Top negotiators for each side have not met in person, though, since Aug. 7. While they've been unable to reach an agreement on a number of issues — one major one is the bill's top-line number. Democrats originally wanted a package totaling more than $3 trillion but later offered to decrease that closer to $2 trillion. Republicans, meanwhile, want a $1 trillion deal. 

The House is similarly on recess and is not scheduled to convene for votes until Sept. 14. So chances are slim that negotiators will reach a consensus on a possible bill before both chambers are back in session. 

If a deal is finalized, McConnell said lawmakers will be given at least 24 hours to return to D.C. to vote on any relief package.