Why Republicans may in fact support a large stimulus package

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The biggest mystery to the ongoing stimulus negotiations right now is where do Republicans actually stand?

We know that Democrats have a pretty clear stance and prefer a stimulus package likely valued somewhere between $1.8 and $2.2 trillion (or higher).

We also know that the White House is very supportive of a large stimulus package in that same range or potentially even higher.

When it comes to Republicans however, things are much less clear.

On the one hand we saw them introduce the HEALS act over the summer which was valued at about $1.1 trillion.

This was proposed and introduced back in July and it included additional stimulus checks which got a lot of people very excited.

Most importantly, though, it indicated where Republicans stood on stimulus relief and specifically on stimulus checks.

Unfortunately, the HEALS Act did not go anywhere and later on Republicans introduced a skinny stimulus package valued at around $500 million that did not include stimulus checks.

This bill failed to pass in the Senate and that brings us to today where we are expected to see a new skinny stimulus package proposal/vote tomorrow.

Despite the Republican’s insistence on introducing bills valued at around $500 billion, we have heard from some insiders and officials in the White House that Republicans actually would get on board with a stimulus package valued at a higher amount.

The problem with those reports is that they really have not been substantiated to any degree.

But now we just heard from a very prominent Republican senator, Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Graham stated that he was on the same page as the president in terms of a big stimulus package.

“I think the bigger the package, as long as it’s smart,” he said.

He criticized the latest $2.2 trillion proposal from the House for including provisions that did not specifically address the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s a requirement in there for ballot harvesting. Those provisions are not about COVID.”

If you’ve been following the stimulus drama you know that this has been a problem with the Democrats proposal from the beginning — it has included issues that are not directly related to the pandemic and thus inflated the price tag to a degree unacceptable to Republicans

“The $2.2 trillion package that the House passed doesn’t have a penny for small business. There’s no PPP money in it. There’s no requirement you have a Social Security number before you get a $1,200 stimulus check,” Graham added.

“So that will go to people here illegally, most likely.”

Graham reiterated his support for more stimulus checks in a recent interview.

“There are some Republicans who don’t want to spend anymore,” he said.

“I think we need more money, but we don’t need policy provisions like the House has.”

This is really good to hear because it basically gives us a glimpse into the minds of Republicans who will be supportive of a new stimulus package.

It’s not so much that they are against spending a substantial sum of money, it’s just that they take issue to the way that the money is being spent in some cases.

One thing to note is that Graham is facing a tight election race in a couple of weeks and so his view could be a response to that.

Regardless of what his motivations are though, this still shows that the reports of Republicans being agreeable to a higher stimulus package do have some basis in facts.

It’s just a matter of how many other Republicans share the same perspective as Graham and how many of them might be facing tight election races coming up in a couple of weeks.

H/T

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