The Finance 202: Forget Wall Street. Now it's Washington that looks out of touch with Main Street.

The GOP push for a so-called skinny emergency relief package ran into a wall of Democratic resistance in the Senate, “leaving the two parties without a clear path forward,” Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Tony Romm report. With Democrats united in opposition, “the vote was 52-47, far short of the 60 votes that would have been needed for the measure to advance.”

They write that “next steps — if any — toward the kind of bipartisan deal that would be needed to actually pass a bill to provide new assistance were unclear. Negotiations between congressional Democrats and administration officials have not restarted since collapsing in August.”

As Washington eyes weeks of inaction, the emergency grows more dire by the day for millions.

A fresh reminder of the ongoing economic crisis landed hours before the Senate deadlocked. The latest weekly jobless claims report found that 884,000 people filed for help, a number greater than what economists expected.

The weekly claims have drifted downward since peaking in March — but six months into the pandemic, they remain eye-popping. “The previous record for initial weekly claims was 695,000 from 1982, a level that the country has been above for more than five months,” Eli Rosenberg reports.

From Upwork chief economist Adam Ozimek:

Other measures show new and worrying weaknesses in the economic recovery. After rising since May, new job openings have been plateauing in recent weeks, real-time measurements from job sites show. “Some indicators, such as card use transactions, show that consumer spending, on things such as restaurants, gas, clothing and hotels, may be leveling off,” Rosenberg writes. “Data from the employee scheduling company Homebase showed that the recovery of small businesses, as measured by companies opening and employees working, flatlined from July through August,

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