Congress

Stimulus is Dead

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Senate Republicans did manage to find a simple majority among their own caucus to vote for a stimulus bill once it had been reduced in scope from $1 trillion down to just $300 billion, but it did not pass the Senate and will never become law.

That does not mean that Republicans are ready to cut a different deal, however, now that their own proposal is dead.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there will be no deal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is keeping her members united against passing McConnell's significant smaller spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it this way: "I wish I could tell you we were going to get another package but it doesn't look that good right now." [...]

Behind the scenes, [Speaker Nancy Pelosi] has encouraged her caucus to remain united even as pressure builds for members in tough reelection campaigns to go home with a deal.

"We don't want to go home without a bill, but don't be a cheap date. When you are in a negotiation, the last place to get weak knees is at the end," Pelosi told Democratic members on a private conference call Thursday.

If there is no stimulus bill before the election, there may not be one before the next session of Congress takes office next year.

I tried to think of what would incentive congressional Republicans to pass something in December and I couldn't think of anything short of a last minute burst of Christmas spirit.

Republicans are either going hold or lose control of the Senate by 1 or 2 seats in either case and I can't see either outcome materially changing their position on stimulus spending. They aren't going to do anything that could help Joe Biden if he wins, and losing control of the chamber would mean they have even less incentive to do anything for their own constituents. It will be someone else's problem at that point, right?

I'm glad I'm not in charge because the list of things the next administration and Congress will have to tackle grows with each week Trump remains in office. The lingering coronavirus, legal fights over vaccination, huge waves of personal and business bankruptices, massive fraud in pandemic loan programs, the trade war, climate change and the west coast being incinerated. The list goes on forever.