Stimulus update: here’s one reason why a deal did not happen

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After Congress adjourned, it looks like there is little to no possibility that a new stimulus package will be passed prior to the upcoming election.

This has a lot of people worried that no stimulus relief will be coming until after inauguration day if Trump does not win.

But there is one consideration that might suggest that relief would be more likely to come after the election.

In fact, it could largely explain why no agreement was made in the last couple of weeks.

One of the biggest issues (in addition to the amount of aid for state and local governments) is the language around testing and contact tracing for coronavirus.

Reportedly, the White House and Pelosi were in large agreement over what the text needed to have but the White House wanted to make “minor edits.”

When these edits were made Pelosi did not feel like they were “minor” enough and insisted on the original language of the bill being included.

This is a major reason why talks were deadlocked.

Some speculate that the White House did not want to go along with the coronavirus testing and tracing language because it implied that the White House is or was failing to properly respond to the pandemic.

Going along with that language prior to the election would be essentially admitting failure which could have impacted the re-election odds.

You could imagine if that coronavirus testing and tracing language was strong enough to imply a complete failure to respond to the coronavirus that once the White House agreed to it, it would have been brought up in debates, the media, etc.

So it is possible that after the election these considerations will no longer carry any weight and that might be one major barrier removed for getting a deal done.

The disagreement comes at a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise again.

Last Friday, the US set a single day record for confirmed cases and reported 83,000.

The total confirmed cases have now surpassed 8.7 million and there have been more than 225,000 deaths.

There has reportedly been a large increase in testing to explain a lot of these new cases but the positivity rate is still above 5% which is the standard the World Health Organization recommends to get below in order to lessen up on restrictions.

While there are valid reasons to suspect that a lame duck session would not produce a stimulus relief bill, I think there is still some hope that a bill could get done during that period.

I think that ultimately there were just too many political forces at play with the election coming up to allow something to get done.

And the push to confirm ACB into the Supreme Court just made it that much more complicated and took up more bandwidth from lawmakers.

Hopefully, after the election, the current politics at play will be largely a non-factor and both sides can come together to get something done.

H/T

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