Before August break, the Senate was given very little time to make any constructive decisions, because a consequentially timed outbreak of COVID-19 infections has struck.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led the sick wave on July 10 and was quarantined for a week before returning to the upper chamber. He was followed by Democrat Sens. Tina Smith (Minn.) and Tom Carper (Del.), both of whom are expected to be back at work by tomorrow.
Senator Joe Manchin (D.W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) both tested positive for the dreadful illness and were placed into quarantine.
Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.Vt) is 82 years old and is still recovering from the second surgery he had in less than a month. He was trying to repair the fractured hip he sustained when he fell at home in Virginia.
The Senate is different from the House of Representatives. The Senate does not permit lawmakers to vote remotely or by proxy. Democrats cannot afford to lose their small majority. Every Democrat is needed to pass important legislation and then return to their states on Aug 8. Many of them will be running for reelection. Punchbowl News quotes New York Magazine:
The Senate is gaining control fast and legislators are eager to go home. There are still important issues to be solved in the next two weeks: CHIPS-Plus, same-sex marriage; NATO and the assault weapons ban; funding for police; and the PACT Act (Promise to address Comprehensive Toxics), which is a prominent bill that benefits veterans.
The reconciliation package should be completed by September 30, the end of the fiscal year. CNBC refers to it as
A slimmed-down version of Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill, which would require Manchin’s in-person vote in order to garner 50 votes from Democrats and trigger a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
The bill would maintain the existing increased health insurance subsidies for two years. It would allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drugmakers for certain prescription drugs.
It doesn’t have to happen, and it won’t without all Democrat hands on deck. Voters will face a shocking rise in healthcare costs right before the midterm elections.
Democrats want to rush bills that enforce their social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. But the Senate is there to stop them. This is a good thing. Congress should be cautious about changing marriage at the federal level.
Both the Senate and House will likely be controlled by Democrats in the midterm elections. Democrats feel panicky because they may lose control of both the Senate and House in midterm elections.
They are sweating slow-moving waves of COVID infections