Second verse, same as the first. As COVID-19 cases escalate nearly exponentially across the US, governors expand restrictions on commerce and assembly, and hospitals start warning about capacity, the need for some action by Congress to address the second wave has become obvious. Just as obviously, we can expect to see more economic damage in the weeks ahead as states begin to move back to shutdown mode, endangering the fragile economic recovery we have already seen.
For the first couple of months since the expiration of the CARES Act, gridlock on a follow-up stimulus/relief bill was shrugged off over the continuing economic growth. After that, when cases started edging up again, gridlock was explained away by the election and the need for both sides to deny the other any advantage with voters.
So what’s the excuse this week? Despite the clear and ominous changes in the pandemic, neither side in Congress is budging from their October positions: