As if the quest to deliver more stimulus checks needed more dramatic turns, today we found out that President Donald Trump was recently diagnosed with coronavirus.
This news comes after President Trump and the White House have been actively working with Republicans and Democrats to pass another relief package for months.
As debates were ongoing, the public was hit with the unexpected news of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg.
That proved and is still proving to be somewhat of a complicating factor as it is making it more difficult to get both sides of Congress to work together.
Despite the lengthy and protracted debates and unexpected events, recent progress has been made and the parties look like they are starting to come together on a potential $1.6 trillion package.
However, things just got complicated again with the diagnosis of the president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis could affect things.
But not necessarily in a bad way.
“This kind of changes the dynamic because here [Republicans] see the reality of what we have been saying all along. This is a vicious virus,”
So from the perspective of Pelosi, she sees this as a factor that could result in a positive outcome, namely that Republicans might be more willing to compromise on a package related to coronavirus relief.
I’m not sure if that is correct but it would not surprise me if lawmakers suddenly did feel an extra degree of obligation to take the virus seriously given that the president has tested positive and has been transferred to a medical facility.
That could potentially help push the needle just over where it needs to be in order to pass another stimulus package.
In light of all of the developing news, Pelosi still claims that she remains optimistic about striking a deal.
“We always have to find a path, that is our responsibility to do so, and I believe that we will,” she said.
“We’ll find our middle ground. We’re legislators. We’ll get the job done.”
This isn’t just talk either as Pelosi has been actively working with the White House towards making progress on this latest stimulus package.
Writing to House Democrats on Friday, Pelosi stated: “our negotiations with the [Trump administration] continue, and I am hopeful we can reach agreement” despite “significant disagreement in key areas.”
Areas of dispute still include things like unemployment insurance and funding for state and local governments along with disagreements over child tax credits, earned income tax credit, and child care assistance funds.
The funding to states and local governments along with liability shields for companies and schools will probably prove to be pretty contentious issues.
We now will just have to wait to see how the President’s health status affects negotiations.
But that’s not the only factor that continues to be a major consideration.
Lawmakers are still paying close attention to the job reports which most recently are showing evidence of strong recovery.
And apparently the president is keeping a close eye as well.
Chief of staff Mark Meadows stated: ”[Trump’s] first question to me this morning was, ‘How’s the economy doing? How are the stimulus talks going on Capitol Hill?’”
So that’s the update.
It looks like the House is about to begin another recess but the Send it should be in session until the ninth.
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