Senate Republicans officially closed the door on passing additional stimulus before the presidential election when they quickly left Washington after voting to confirm Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court, but will they vote for a stimulus package after the election?
No, probably not.
We've speculated that they wouldn't, but now Senate Majority Mitch McConnel himself is saying there won't be any additional stimulus before Christmas.
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said, “I think that will be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year, targeted particularly at small businesses that are struggling and hospitals that are now dealing with a second wave of the coronavirus.”
McConnell, who has resisted considering a comprehensive aid package being sought by Democrats, added, “We probably need to do another package,” but said it would have to be “more modest” than the $3-trillion measure the House of Representatives passed in mid-May.
It's not surprising that McConnell won't advance a stimulus bill before the end of the year, but this also tells us something else. It tells us that whatever McConnell decides to advance next year, it won't be significant. When he says it will be "more modest," he's saying it will be similar to what they've proposed in recent months; spending packages that did not actually include much in the way of stimulus. The GOP's proposals have not included stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment, or additional money for state and local governments.
If enough Democratic voters do their duty, McConnell won't get a chance to continue playing spoiler.
A Democratic majority could eliminate the legislative filibuster and fire Mitch McConnell into the sun once and for all.