Editorial: Where did Congress go?



Like a one-trick pony, Senate Republicans assembled, and in record time pushed through the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice along party lines. In fact, it was the quickest confirmation in U.S. history. If nothing else, the sheer speed by which it happened was impressive and showed that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen.

But then what?

The Senate adjourned and its members left Washington without passing a relief bill that would help American families and small businesses. A much-needed second stimulus package has been in the works since March. While the country was led to believe negotiations were underway at the highest levels of government, it ultimately took a back seat to partisan politics and political wrangling.

Without added stimulus, the economy is likely to tumble backward, and what is now a moderate recession will get much worse. Already, lines at food pantries are growing, and organizations that deal with requests for supplemental services are concerned that they will not have enough funds to cover the need.

For better or worse, the United States depends on consumer spending to support the economy. Since the Industrial Revolution, consumption and spending have grown at a record pace. When spending slows, so, too, does the economy.

To say it more clearly, a healthy economy requires that its citizens spend money in order to keep it moving.

Now, eight months into a pandemic, with no end in sight, the cracks are starting to become larger. For those in the so-called middle class, who have lost their jobs and are starting to see themselves creep down the socioeconomic ladder, help is needed.

In April, more than 20 million jobs were lost, wiping out a decade’s worth of growth. While many of those jobs will come back over time, some will never return. It is more important than ever that we consider the needs of the most vulnerable and create real solutions to lift people up—or at least back up to where they were at the beginning of the year.

Members of Congress should be ashamed of themselves for adjourning before they passed additional help for the American people. When they do reconvene, it should be a top priority. If it isn’t, make sure to take notes, because the next election will take place in two years.

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