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Update: It looks like Republicans might be on board with a large stimulus package!
Earlier this morning I made a post about things not adding up when it comes to Republicans and the next stimulus package.
In a nutshell, I did not understand why a White House ran by Republicans would be presenting large stimulus packages with knowledge that the Republican controlled Senate would not go for them.
I questioned if there might be Republicans in the closet so to speak that would support a stimulus package.
Based on an article found in the Hill it seems that this thinking could be correct.
According to the Hill, “President Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ the $1.8 trillion White House stimulus proposal despite their vocal pushback.”
Kudlow also stated that he did not think that the coronavirus stimulus bill was dead.
“Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was, so they united,” he said. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”
This is huge news because every indication has been that Republicans would never get on board with a $1.8 trillion package.
But Larry Kudlow is suggesting that Republicans would be okay with going along with such a package despite what they have voiced in the past.
Obviously, nothing can be guaranteed at this point but I do think this is pretty significant because it is the first time that I have heard an official involved in negotiations come out and say that Republicans would be on board with such a high figure.
Perhaps there is reason to have hope after all.
Reports coming from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggest that the White House may be willing to go above and beyond the most recent offer from Nancy Pelosi valued at $2.2 trillion.
We’ve seen the counter offer proposal increase from about $1.5 to $1.8 trillion over the past several weeks so it is evident that the White House has been trending towards the Democrat side of negotiations.
“Secretary Mnuchin is up to 1.8 trillion. So the bid and the offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides.” Kudlow said.
I believe a lot of this is the product of President Trump’s preference to provide the maximum amount of aid possible right now.
He has continuously pushed his advisers to work out a large stimulus package.
“President Trump actually has always said — I mean, I’ve heard him say it in the oval — as far as the key elements are concerned, the checks, the unemployment assistance, the small business assistance, we’ve got to help airlines out, he would go further. He’s always said that,” Kudlow said.
While that support is encouraging, it’s hard to not see it as just political posturing at this point.
Thus far we have seen little to no indication that Republicans would consider passing a stimulus bill valued over $1.5 trillion.
In fact, it’s not even clear that they would go for something over the $1.1 trillion marker.
It was reported that on Saturday Senate Republicans “blasted” the $1.8 trillion offer from the White House on a call with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
So the White House offer is trending upward but at the same time it seems that any realistic chance of the package passing the Senate is going down.
If Republicans were unhappy about a $1.8 trillion offer then you can imagine how they would feel about an offer that surpasses the $2.2 trillion price tag.
So is this just political posturing designed to win over the opinion of voters?
It’s a little confusing because White House officials are still pointing to the stubbornness of Democrats as to why there is no agreement being made.
“They have bipartisan support. We could do it as standalone bills or an omnibus bill or whatever. But I do not understand the intransigence from my Democratic friends,” Kudlow said.
So is the bigger problem that Democrats won’t go for a standalone bill or that Republicans won’t entertain these high dollar stimulus packages?
I think it is obviously both but I also don’t understand what “progress” is being made that keeps getting reported.
If the overall value of the package is increasing then it would seem progress is being made with Democrats.
But if that progress comes at the expense of support from Republicans then can you really classify that as progress since it is essentially a net loss?
Like I mentioned yesterday, I don’t like to be cynical but with respect to these stimulus negotiations, it’s really hard not to be considering the upcoming elections and all of the back-and-forth that has occurred with essentially nothing to show for it.
The only thing that I can think of that would make sense at this point, if we were to assume that actual progress is being made, is that it’s possible that there is more support among Republicans for a high dollar stimulus package than is being expressed publicly.
I think there is a chance of that because otherwise all of these current talks are completely pointless and the actors involved would definitely be aware of that.
I know I am somewhat cynical, but I can’t imagine them wasting that much time and effort when there are other major items to be worked out such as the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice.
Maybe I am underestimating the length that politicians will go to look good prior to an upcoming election but I sincerely hope that there is just something that Republicans are not telling us.
If that’s the case, and that is a huge IF as far as I’m concerned, then we might actually see something get done in the next couple of weeks before the election.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.