Stimulus negotiations update: where things currently stand

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Yesterday, I wrote about progress that was reportedly being made between the White House and both political parties involved in stimulus talk negotiations.

It was reported that a $1.8 trillion package was being discussed and that the parties involved were moving towards a solution.

But now that some of the smoke has cleared it’s not so clear that actual progress is being made.

Instead, as I mentioned yesterday, it seems that the American public may be getting played by politicians.

It’s reported that both Senate Republicans and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised “intense objections” yesterday to the new $1.8 trillion relief proposal from the Trump administration.

So there are major objections from the people who think the government is spending too much and too little.

That’s not a great sign….

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., stated that if this proposal were to go forward it would be the “death knell” of the GOP majority.

And as many have suspected, the Supreme Court confirmation is becoming a major complicating factor with these talks.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah reiterated that the deal could complicate things as the Senate attempts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy this month.

While Republicans were voicing these complaints with the new package, Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats stating that the proposal would need major changes and that it took “one step forward, two steps back.”

(This is despite the fact that the price tag of the package actually increased from the prior talks.)

The complaints from Pelosi were pretty predictable and included displeasure with things like:

  • Unemployment insurance
  • State and local aid
  • Child care
  • Liability protections for businesses and others.

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” Pelosi wrote.

Despite all of this, Pelosi noted that she still remains hopeful that the two sides can find “an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families.” 

It’s starting to look like the current attempts and talks are just acts that both parties are using to save face for the upcoming election.

They are probably genuinely interested in passing more aid at some point but it’s starting to look like senators like Mitch McConnell were correct about the questionable motives underlying the current talks.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that some of the most vocal supporters of the stimulus package have been those with the biggest threats to their reelection such as  Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina would be another prime example of someone offering strong support for more stimulus aid and who is in a tight race to maintain their seat.

Buying time for elections would also would explain why so many lawmakers are happy with the talks continuing on because it would give the appearance of efforts being seriously taken to get some thing done.

I don’t like being cynical and I would love to be wrong on this but it’s hard to see how an agreement can be made when there is such serious opposition to a package that is in the middle of what both parties are demanding.



New stimulus proposal increases stimulus checks

“Productive talks” happening for next stimulus package

Pelosi open to stimulus talks but not stimulus checks

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