No stimulus package until after elections?

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October 6, 2020 update:

News just broke that President Trump has called off stimulus negotiations with Democrats until after the election.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. 

According to CNBC, “The president added that he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ‘focus full time’ on confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.”

This is sort of what I expected to happen once the passing of Ruth Ginsberg occurred.

Confirming a Supreme Court justice is already a highly controversial event in this day and age.

And trying to confirm a new justice during a pandemic with limited time before an election is an even more complicated matter.

Due to those complications, the president and Republicans probably did not feel like they could dedicate the necessary resources to getting a package passed before the election.

If the election becomes contested in anyway and the issue has to make its way to the Supreme Court then the president and Republicans likely prefer to have the numbers in the court to settle a dispute rather than prioritizing a stimulus package.

I do believe that a stimulus package is still going to happen.

(I even think there is a small possibility that it could still happen before the election although that is definitely unlikely in my opinion.)

However, we most likely will have to wait until after the election for any agreement to be made.

And if the election is contested I would imagine that the agreement would take even longer to be made so I don’t think it is out of the question that we might not see a stimulus package until 2021.

H/T

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October 4, 2020 update:

Believe it or not it has been over six months since President Trump signed the last stimulus checks into law.

Since then we’ve seen negotiations go up and down regarding more direct payments. Right now, it looks like talks are still ongoing and Nancy Pelosi recently gave an update on the status of the new bill.

“We want to see that they will agree on what we need to do to crush the virus so that we can open the economy and open our school system,” Pelosi said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

When she was asked if a deal could come this week she stated, “It just depends on if they understand what we need to do to crush the virus,” she said.

“You just cant say we need to do something but we’re going to let the virus run free.”

This comes at a time when President Trump is currently dealing with the coronavirus but still voicing support for more stimulus checks. He recently tweeted:

“OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!”

The most likely package to pass is a counter offer made by the White House valued at around $1.6 trillion. However, that package has not been formalized in the House or Senate. And instead, the House recently passed a $2.2 trillion package that basically has no chance of passing the Senate.

This week is the last week that the Senate is scheduled to be in session before the upcoming elections. Therefore, this is going to be one of the most important weeks with respect to a stimulus package.

If no package is approved then it is still possible that senators could be called to vote during the recess but given all of the additional issues facing Congress I’m not sure that I would bank on that happening.

Stay tuned for important updates this week.

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Yesterday, I wrote about the new stimulus proposal unveiled by Democrats.

It’s a “smaller” (for Democrats) proposal valued at around $2.2 trillion and includes some of the highly anticipated benefits such as more stimulus checks and unemployment benefits.

Well, there is now more reasons to be optimistic since it has been reported that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have spoken several times over the past few days as they try to reach an agreement on the latest stimulus package.

They last spoke yesterday in a conversation that reportedly lasted nearly 50 minutes.

The two did not reach an agreement but they are set to have another discussion today.

In fact, it’s expected that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will propose a counter offer.

It’s expected that this counter offer will resemble the $1.5 trillion package that was proposed by the bipartisan group in the House.

This is probably the best sign that we have seen in several months regarding the passage of more direct payments and more stimulus benefits.

The reason is that the Democrat proposal came in much lower than the $3.5 trillion proposal that was made over the summer.

Moreover, there have been steady and ongoing talks between the Treasury secretary and House speaker and it appears that the $1.5 trillion proposal that they might arrive at will have a stronger likelihood of succeeding.

This is presumably because a package negotiated between these two leaders will be more inclusive of “must-haves” than the package designed by the bipartisan group.

At the same time, if the package that they arrive at is virtually the same as the bipartisan $1.5 trillion package, then it’s not clear to me that this would be such a notable advancement.

I will say that if no progress is made between these discussions, I will seriously question whether or not we will see any type of additional aid in 2020.

And remember, even if an agreement is made, this is being done between Democrats in the White House.

Somebody will still have to step forward to get enough Republicans on board with this package.

With a package valued at around $1.5 trillion, that might prove to be pretty difficult and we might see the price tag drop a little bit.

H/T

Related

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