Although the Trump White House recently agreed to spend as much a $1.3 trillion on additional stimulus measures during talks with Democratic leaders, Senate Republicans are moving even further in the other direction than they already had.
Senate Republicans originally proposed a ceiling of $1 trillion in stimulus spending earlier this summer but the total was reduced to $500 billion because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could not amass even a simple majority of 51 Republican votes for a bigger bill.
But McConnell couldn't find 51 votes for a $500 billion, either, so their proposal has been reduced yet again to just $300 billion.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday will introduce an approximately $300 billion coronavirus aid bill, according to senior aides, which Democrats promptly dismissed as insufficient for meeting the needs created by the pandemic.
The bill would be augmented by some unspent funding from the CARES Act, which was enacted at the end of March, according to the aides who asked not to be identified. [...]
“Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
As you know, many Republicans don't believe they should pass any additional stimulus at all so it's possible that McConnell still won't be able to find 51 votes for this.
Even if he does, it won't pass the Senate, won't pass the House, and won't become law.
This is a political messaging maneuver and the message is that everything is fine now. Things are 'great again' is what Republicans are telling us even though a record number of temporary job losses became permanent job loses in the last week of August according to the Labor Department.
Various reports tell us the reason Republicans are holding a vote on anything at all is because vulnerable incumbents believe they need something to campaign on even if something is actually nothing. Republicans are a post-policy party now. They don't do policy.
Maybe that's for the best since all of their policy positions are terrible.