Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Carlos Ponce joins other demonstrators participating in a protest asking Senators to support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

'This Whole House of Cards Is Gonna Collapse': GOP Shutters Senate With US on Verge of Economic Catastrophe

"The magnitude of suffering this is about to cause is so immense."

Eoin Higgins

As Senate Republicans headed home for the weekend without extending unemployment insurance benefits or approving other economic relief programs that could help millions of Americans weather the ongoing financial catastrophe of the coronavirus pandemic, progressives and congressional Democrats warned that disaster is on the horizon.

"This whole house of cards is going to collapse," Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) warned during a press conference Friday afternoon. 

As Common Dreams reported, the departure of the GOP-controlled Senate for the weekend without a resolution to the benefits questions earned the upper chamber's leadership a harsh rebuke in a speech from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who called the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to recess until Monday unacceptable. 

"The lapse that is being forced on this country right now is because Senate Republicans would not step up," said Wyden. "The lapse is going to lead to evictions, it's going to lead to hunger, it's going to lead to desperation for millions of Americans."

House Democrats took to Twitter to decry their Senate GOP colleagues for abdicating their responsibility to the American people, noting that Republicans found time to vote for a mammoth $740 billion Pentagon budget but failed to approve anything to meet the needs of struggling workers and families.

"Senate Republicans have left Washington without passing the HEROES Act, without proposing their own Covid relief package, and without extending enhanced unemployment benefits for millions," tweeted Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "But they were able to pass a $740 billion defense budget with no trouble."

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) echoed those concerns and pointed out that the Senate's departure ensures the benefit will run out after next week's claims. 

"The cliff is here and Americans are suffering," said Chu.

Progressive groups like Indivisible are urging members to pressure senators to have a vote on the HEROES Act, which Democrats in the House passed in May, as soon as possible. 

Filmmaker Michael Moore cautioned lawmakers not to let the unemployment benefits lapse lest the country tip into a total economic mess.

"The magnitude of suffering this is about to cause is so immense," said Moore, "they have no idea of how much shit is gonna hit the fan."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Peace Advocates Sound Warnings as Progressive Lawmakers Go All-In for $40 Billion Ukraine War Package

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned," says one activist. "But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine."

Brett Wilkins ·


Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Strictest US Abortion Ban While Roe Still Stands

Reproductive rights supporters vowed to fight against the ban that begins at fertilization and, like legislation in Texas, "creates a bounty-hunting scheme" for enforcement.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·


Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo