Trump may struggle to get Republicans on board with next stimulus

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President Trump has continued to support another stimulus package getting approved but it’s not clear that the members of the GOP are hopping on board.

A few days ago Trump tweeted:

“Democrats are “heartless”. They don’t want to give STIMULUS PAYMENTS to people who desperately need the money, and whose fault it was NOT that the plague came in from China. Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!).”

President Trump also expressed his belief that he might be able to convince Republicans to agree to the larger $1.5 trillion relief plan that was proposed by the Problem Solvers Caucus.

“Some of the Republicans disagree, but I think I can convince them to go along with that because I like the larger number,” Trump said at a press conference. “I want to see people get money.”

Some members in the Republican Party expressed an unwillingness to agree to this larger number, however.

“This used to be the White House versus Pelosi up until about now — now the president’s coming in and saying we can maybe go to $1.5 trillion,” Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley told Bloomberg. 

“He better be careful of that because I don’t think that will get through the United States Senate.”

So it might be more difficult than Trump imagined to get the Republican-controlled Senate on board with the more expensive proposal.

This is very puzzling to me because it seems that the Republican Party would benefit substantially from a relief package going out prior to November and others agree.

Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and a conservative economist, stated:

“It seems odd for the controlling party in power in both the Senate and White House with an incredibly important, close and contentious election a few months away to be rejecting the idea of an economic policy that’s much needed and very popular,” Cass said.

It’s clear based on surveys and polls that Americans support more aid going out. According to Business Insider:

  • Around 77% of Americans supported additional stimulus checks.
  • 76% of Americans backed additional unemployment benefits, though no amount was specified.
  • Around 82% of Americans approved providing more loans to small businesses.

Some have speculated that Democrats are trying to put off approving a package because they know it might help Republicans.

Yet, Pelosi has come out claiming that the Senate must finalize a package before the election. And other Democrats are in favor of passing relief legislation before the election.

Unfortunately, with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, negotiations just got a lot more complicated.

If Republicans choose to move ahead with a replacement prior to the election this could cause significant backlash within the Senate (not to mention the country) and might breakdown negotiations that are already in bad shape.

So we have to hope that lawmakers will be able to set aside their disagreements over the Supreme Court issues which may not be possible given the high stakes.

H/T

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