America's elected representatives have failed the country.
- Why it matters: The bipartisan inability to deliver economic stimulus could impede economic growth for months to come, Axios' Alayna Treene and Dan Primack write.
- It will create widespread damage across America — from small businesses to large industries to schools and day cares — and leave many Americans without jobs or homes.
The state of play: The initial economic stimulus, called the CARES Act, was only designed to last through the summer. Since then, congressional leaders have become too entrenched in partisan positions to reach another deal.
- The House passed a large package in May that went nowhere. Senate Republicans tried, but failed, to pass a skinnier bill earlier this month.
Before Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death Friday, most lawmakers and Hill staff believed there was little chance of passing a new stimulus package before the election.
- Now, they privately admit there’s virtually no shot.
We turned to Axios' subject matter experts to examine the damage created by Washington's inaction.
The unemployed: Under the CARES Act, unemployed Americans received an extra $600 per week in enhanced benefits. But those benefits expired at the end of July.
- 30 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits.
Small businesses: Both Democrats and Republicans agree there's urgent need for a second round of stimulus loans for small businesses, which employ nearly half of all Americans.
- Yet there's no movement to reauthorize the Paycheck Protection Program, nor to pass a separate proposal aimed at restaurants and bars.
Elections: State election officials of both parties from across the country have begged Congress for stimulus funds to help ensure the November elections run efficiently and fairly, per Axios' Stef Kight.
- In the face of Congress' failure, charities have stepped in to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to state and local election officials, AP reports.
Airlines: The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass layoffs when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30, per Axios' Joann Muller.
Schools: Schools and day cares are bleeding out without much-needed federal dollars.
- A generation of kids could get left behind, particularly those in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Health care: Many Americans are forgoing health care in favor of paying rent or grocery bills, per Axios' Caitlin Owens.