The Senate recessed today until September. This week was originally scheduled as the first week of the Senate’s August recess, but Majority Leader McConnell had kept the Senate in session in order to allow more time for negotiation on the fifth COVID response. The House had recessed earlier and is not scheduled to return until September 14th.

HEROES, the House passed bill spending $3.4+ trillion, and HEALS, the Senate proposal spending $1 trillion, are worlds apart in spending and policies. Meadows, Mnuchin, Pelosi, and Schumer are tasked with trying to reach an agreement but so far have little to show. Each side blames the other for the stalemate. A major sticking point at this time is the total spending amount for this response. Republicans refuse to budge from the $1 trillion amount insisting that there are many items in HEROES that have nothing to do with COVID, while Democrats insist that at least $2 trillion is needed.

Both HEROES and HEALS address various agriculture issues, particularly CCC spending, with the latest HEALS proposal containing $20B for the CCC. Although the chambers could return early and pass compromise legislation if a deal is reached, many are expecting no action on the latest COVID response until after the respective conventions.

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