The President wants a new stimulus package, the House Speaker wants a new stimulus package, and despite the sides seemingly growing closer to one, it might not get passed before the elections.
President Trump has said, “go big, or go home” and recently began putting the pressure on Nancy Pelosi to secure a deal saying: “At some point, she might very well say, ‘Hey, look I got to do this.’ “
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has even said testing and tracing funding/language would not be a sticking point.
So everything indicates an agreement that can pass and give hurting Americans much-needed aid?
Not so fast.
Senate majority Mitch McConnell views it differently. “That’s not what I’m going to put on the floor,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky.
“That’s where the administration’s willingness to go,” McConnell said of the $1.8 trillion topline number proposed by Trump. “My members think what we laid out, a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go.”
Asked if a compromise in the higher range was possible, McConnell said: “I don’t think so.”
McConnell, who has opened a sizeable lead on challenger Amy McGrath. McGrath, a veteran, said during their debate in Lexington, “The House passed a bill in May, and this Senate went on vacation.” Prompting Senator McConnell to chuckle.
Mrs. McGrath continued, “I mean, you don’t do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis; you knew that the coronavirus wasn’t going to end at the end of July. We knew that.”
McConnell’s act of laughing and comment today may have effectively ended a large-scale stimulus deal before the election — something most on Capitol Hill had accepted was out of reach over the last several days.
Mnuchin, who is scheduled to have another call with Pelosi on Thursday, said, “getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult just given where we are.”
While Mnuchin negotiates with Pelosi, Senate Republicans held a private conference call. Sources told CNN the Senators “tore into the Trump administration’s proposal as far too expensive and filled with policies they found objectionable.”
The blowback led Trump’s top two negotiators, Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to ask lawmakers to pass a standalone small business aid bill which Democrats have blocked.
Despite the uphill battle with his party, Trump claimed that Fox Business would be on board with additional spending.
“Yeah, I will (go higher than $1.8 trillion), and the Republicans will, too. Because we like the stimulus, we want stimulus, and we think we should have stimulus because it was China’s fault,” he said.
So despite Pelosi and Mnuchin “fundamentally agree(ing)” as the latter said Thursday Morning on CNBC, Mitch and the Republicans seem set on not approving a large scale stimulus plan.
The COVID-19 pandemic claimed tens of millions of jobs with a 7.9% unemployment.