That might be cold comfort to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the GOP’s most seasoned and accomplished deal maker. While Democrats passed another stimulus bill in the House in May, McConnell hit the “pause button” for months in hopes the pandemic would fade and the economy would revive over the summer.

That slow-walk turned into a fast sprint in late July as extra unemployment aid, a small business loan program, and other provisions of the March virus relief plan were set to run out. After cobbling together a $1 trillion package in tortured negotiations with the White House and his own party, McConnell has largely left the playing field. His leverage was undercut after he acknowledged that 20 or so Senate Republicans didn’t want to spend any more money.

That puts seven Republican incumbent senators most in danger in November in a pinch. Maine’s Susan Collins and Colorado’s Cory Gardner, two of the most vulnerable, had been touting the bipartisan rescue bill passed in March, taking credit for popular and expensive bailouts like the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. They’d publicly backed a $500 billion package of state and local aid so far opposed by Trump and McConnell.

This time, they’re head back to their states to campaign empty handed, having to explain to voters why their leadership refused to back their requests and sent them home for the summer instead.

--With assistance from Justin Sink, Laura Litvan, Billy House and Laura Davison.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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