Economy

More Stimulus Just Got Even Less Likely

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Because a significant number of congressional and particularly Senate Republicans don't believe we should pass any additional stimulus at all, it seemed reasonable to think that the best chance for passing additional stimulus would be to attach it to something they can't say 'No' to.

But that just became significantly less likely.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have reportedly agreed to pass a clean continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond the end of the month.

From Politico:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have tentatively agreed to use a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September, according to Capitol Hill aides. [...]

“House Democrats are for a clean continuing resolution," Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for Pelosi, said in a statement.

There is no consensus for how long the stopgap would extend government funding past Sept. 30, Hill aides said. House and Senate Democratic leaders haven't formally discussed the issue yet, although a mid-December deadline would be the traditional practice during an election year.

In related news, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer mocked Mitch McConnell's "skinny" stimulus bill this morning.

The legislation, which is expected to cost $500 billion, would offer more narrow relief than other plans currently on the table, CNBC previously reported.

"Republicans may call their proposal 'skinny,' but it would be more appropriate to call it 'emaciated.' Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people," Schumer wrote to Senate Democrats.

Just because Pelosi and the White House have agreed to pass a clean continuing resolution does not mean a stimulus measure of some description won't be passed alongside it, but it seems very unlikely.

There is nothing that could force or persuade some congressional Republicans to vote for more stimulus short of a government shutdown, but it's not worth it for Democrats to force a possible shutdown.

Whether or not we'll see any additional stimulus at all probably now depends on what the coronavirus does between now and the end of the month, but even that is no guarantee that Republicans will act. They sat on their hands throughout the summer during the second surge.

  • Christopher Foxx

    but even that is no guarantee that Republicans will act. They sat on their hands throughout the summer during the second surge.

    There is only one thing that will prompt the Republicans to act, and that is if the Democrats say “We should do nothing.” Then the standard Republican opposite-of-whatever-they-do response will kick in.

  • muselet

    Unfortunately, if the Ds attached stimulus to a continuing resolution, the R-driven narrative—amplified by our glorious news media—would not be “Ds try to govern,” but rather “Ds threaten shutdown! AIEEEEE!

    As distasteful as it is to leave the public hanging, not to mention risking further damage to the economy as a whole, reality dictates taking steps to keep the lights on and waiting until after the *fingers crossed* Blue Wave in November.

    –alopecia