Perhaps 20 million people have either severely reduced or negligible income as we head into winter, with no immediate relief in sight. Indeed, for many people, the relief promised by vaccines will come too late. Homes will be lost, businesses will be lost, health coverage is already lost.

Meanwhile, the Senate has been unable to take any action to relieve the increasingly widespread suffering attributable to the pandemic. In six weeks, we have seen nothing from them, a breathtaking inaction in the face of an economic disaster. One hundred well-paid, warm, comfortable federal employees who were somehow able to confirm a Supreme Court justice in three days have been unable to find a way to provide pandemic relief for millions of desperate citizens in six weeks. That’s shameful. How these 100 individuals can face themselves, let alone the people who sent them to Washington, D.C., to represent them, is beyond comprehension.

I suggest that the Senate is the poster child of a nonessential enterprise and should be closed until the end of the pandemic. If they are unable to help us, at least they could stop costing us their salaries and benefits.

Richard Fulton, Bellingham