Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Wednesday said he doubts Congress will authorize another round of coronavirus relief between now and Election Day in November.
“I don’t think Congress is going to end up passing anything between now and Election Day,” the Texas Republican said on CNBC.
He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer have made a political decision with less than two months to go until the election.
“They don’t want a deal. They don’t want to pass anything,” he said. “Pelosi and Schumer have calculated that if they maximize economic pain … that benefits their party and helps Joe Biden.”
Senate Republicans on Tuesday rolled out a $500 billion package that would partially reinstate boosted unemployment benefits through late December and provide additional money for small businesses and schools.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell teed things up for a test vote on the measure this week, though Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer rejected it even before it was formally introduced.
Democrats are pushing a nearly $3.5 trillion package the House passed in May that would extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment benefits through January and provide nearly $1 trillion for cash-strapped states and localities, which Republicans have dismissed as a nonstarter.
Senate Republicans also introduced a $1 trillion package in July that never got a vote and likely would not have gotten majority support in the U.S. Senate, where the GOP holds an effective 53-47 majority.