Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) lambasted Senate Republicans' stripped-down coronavirus relief package as "emaciated," accusing his colleagues in a Thursday letter of only trying to "give the appearance of action."

Why it matters: Talks broke down between Democrats and the White House before Congress left for August recess last month, but Schumer's comments indicate a deal may be hard to come by even when the Senate returns next week.

  • Senate Republicans hope to pass a "skinny" coronavirus relief package that would include some expanded unemployment benefits, a PPP extension and funding for the U.S. Postal Service.
  • While it would lay a marker for Republicans, who have yet to pass anything for the next round of stimulus, it's likely to be a non-starter with Democrats in both houses who have continually pushed for something more expansive.

What he's saying: Schumer said Republicans in the Senate "have been 'on pause'" in combatting the pandemic and accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of "planning another round of partisan games."

  • "Democrats have negotiated in good faith and we have offered to meet our Republican counterparts in the middle, but the White House has refused to make any significant compromise."
  • "Republicans may call their proposal 'skinny,' but it would be more appropriate to call it 'emaciated.' Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people."
  • "We should strive for, and hope we can achieve, another comprehensive, bipartisan bill that meets the moment facing our nation."

Go deeper

Susan Collins says Senate should postpone Supreme Court vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday she believes whoever is elected in the 2020 presidential race should pick the nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.

Why it matters: Collins will be key in how the nomination process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

A court fight for the ages

The flag flies at half-staff as people mourn on the Supreme Court steps last night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — feminist icon, legal giant, toast of pop culture — left this statement with granddaughter Clara Spera as cancer closed in: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The big picture: For all that the nation owes "Notorious RBG" — the hip-hop-inspired nickname she enjoyed and embraced — Republicans are planning to do their best to be sure her robe is quickly filled, despite that last wish, with her ideological polar opposite.