View Author May 2020
The US House of Representatives returns to Washington this week, but negotiations aimed at forging a bipartisan consensus on the next federal COVID-19 response package are still weeks away. The Memorial Day holiday weekend brought a surge of activity by Americans who have been in lockdown for months and are yearning for a return to some semblance of normalcy in their lives, even if it means taking a calculated risk. The shifting dynamics outside the Beltway could gradually bolster the position of Republican policymakers who want the federal government to allow more time for the trillions of dollars already injected into the economy to take effect before another sweeping measure is enacted, even as some voices – including the editorial board of the New York Times – press the GOP for immediate action. Targeted proposals, such as a bipartisan bill to modify the March 27 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will be brought to a vote by the House this week, are likely to be the focal point of legislative activity in Washington for the time being.