With Congress leaving town for Memorial Day, the House or Representatives and the Senate remain at loggerheads over if, when and how to proceed with the next round of coronavirus relief. Last week the Democratic-controlled House passed a $3 trillion package but it arrived at the Senate with a thud as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the President showed no interest in proceeding with the House bill. McConnell said further legislative action was on hold and that the House bill was dead on arrival. President Trump declared he’d veto the bill.

As the Senators left town last week, policy disagreements were brewing within the Republican conference as the unemployment numbers leveled out at over 2 million new claims a week. Of the 35 Senate seats being contested this year, 23 are currently held by Republicans.

Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado always knew they would have tight races as they are the only two of the 23 Republicans from states that Hilary Clinton carried in the previous election. Recent polling is showing close races for Republicans in Arizona, Montana, North Carolina and Iowa. Republican incumbents in these states are reportedly putting pressure on leadership to start work on virus relief legislation in June.

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