Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Congress goes on vacation next week, after months spent hardly working on an economic stimulus that almost everyone agrees was needed months ago.

  • This failure was disheartening in May. It was frustrating in August. It was maddening earlier this month.
  • Today it's whatever adjective best describes the compulsion to slam your head against a concrete wall.

The difference between now and then is that we can see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, thanks to vaccine trial results from Pfizer and Moderna.

  • That means we know more about what's needed and for how long it's needed, neither of which were really true when the CARES Act was passed in March.
  • We also know now that America is in the midst of a third COVID-19 wave that is only expected to get worse, particularly after a Thanksgiving holiday that may double as a national super-spreader event.
  • Many businesses — including a lot of Northern state restaurants that have been eking by on outdoor dining — are unlikely to survive until a Biden inauguration (or even until the Georgia run-offs). More jobs will be lost.
  • In addition, upwards of 12 million Americans could lose their unemployment benefits the day after Christmas, as CARES Act provisions expire.

This list of horribles is manifest. Yet there are zero negotiations happening right now on stimulus, according to Axios political reporter Alayna Treene.

The bottom line: Elected officials of both parties, including President Trump, are failing the country. Not only by not succeeding in getting new stimulus passed, but by no longer even trying.

  • The time for apportioning partisan blame has passed. The elections are over, so it's no longer defensible for leaders to wait until their "side" has more leverage. Every business or job saved, every family enabled to avoid eviction, should now be the priority. Every vacation day is a cruelty, brought to us by what is becoming the lamest of ducks.

Go deeper

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

In photos: Black Friday shopping across the U.S.

Customers shop at Macys on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans braved shopping malls and department stores to shop in-person on Black Friday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections are still on the rise across much of the U.S. during a season of travel and holiday gatherings. Hospitals across the country, especially in rural areas, are still overwhelmed.

Updated 20 hours ago - Sports

NFL reschedules Thanksgiving matchup for second time due to COVID outbreak

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL has once again postponed a Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup originally scheduled for primetime on Thanksgiving day due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Why it matters: It's the first time the league has had to scrap a game since October, as the U.S. copes with another surge in coronavirus infections heading into the holidays.