The Senate GOP's upcoming "skinny" stimulus proposal isn't going to be the shot in the arm that the country really needs, but vulnerable Republicans reportedly believe it's what they personally need.
During a conference call between Senate Republicans and the Trump White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said they're going to vote on their "skinny" proposal for purely political reasons, not because it's an adequate stimulus bill.
They apparently believe this will save control of the Senate for them.
The GOP leader told fellow Senate Republicans during a conference call Tuesday morning with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that senators in tough races want to vote on a rescue package ASAP, according to a person familiar with the call.
“McConnell wants it. McConnell said today is that every member who’s up [for reelection] who has any hint of vulnerability wants a bill that gets 51 votes,” the source said on Tuesday.
The problem with this plan is the bill won't get the 60 votes it needs to actually pass and, even if it did, House Democrats wouldn't accept it. But McConnell may have an even bigger problem.
The Hill reports that McConnell still doesn't have a simple majority of 51 Republicans willing to vote for it. A significant number of Republicans don't agree with passing any additional stimulus measures even if they're relatively small.
McConnell may find his way to a simple majority next week, but suffice to say this will be purely political and symbolic and that's the GOP's only concern; not policy or economics.
If you asked me to predict our short-term future, it would look like this: Republicans will find a simple majority for their shitty bill, but it won't actually pass the Senate. That will allow them to claim they voted for something more conservative after a more comprehensive and expensive stimulus measure is attached to the must-pass government funding bill at the end of the month.
The only alternatives I can see range from the bad (no additional stimulus) to the catastrophic (no stimulus and a government shutdown).
If there is no stimulus this month, there probably won't be any through the end of the year unless Republicans unexpectedly rediscover some Christmas spirit in December.