Biden pushes for stimulus relief, Georgia runoff update

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Yesterday, Joe Biden stressed the need for lawmakers to find agreement quickly on more stimulus aid.

“Refusal of Democrats, Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a conscious decision,” Biden said.

“It’s a choice that we make. If we can decide not to cooperate, we could decide to cooperate.”

He reiterated that Congress needs to find common ground, “Not tomorrow. Now.”

Biden support for more stimulus aid has been mirrored by President Trump as he tweeted over the weekend, “Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done!”

Some experts and commenters have pointed out that President Trump’s tweet was contradictory because it called for a big yet focused stimulus bill.

But I don’t think it is necessarily contradictory.

During the height of the stimulus negotiations over the summer/fall, some Republicans were expressing that they were okay with the large stimulus bill as long as the components of that bill were “smart” and put together in a focused way.

So I think that is what President Trump was actually referring to rather than implicating that he wants a highly targeted bill.

Regardless, it’s clear that there is support for stimulus relief at every level of the government.

The biggest variable right now is probably what will happen on January 5 with the Georgia runoffs.

If Democrats sweep those elections, they will take control of the Senate and assuming that a relief package has not been passed by that time, they will likely work to pass one of the largest stimulus bills we could imagine.

If Republicans win at least one of those seats up for grabs then they will maintain control and we likely will see more of the status quo.

Right now, many predict that the Democrats will not be able to win both of those seats in Georgia.

That’s because typically when a party loses the presidency, they turn out very well in a runoff election, especially in Georgia.

For example, in 2008 a Republican senator barely edged a Democrat by three points when Obama was elected. But in the runoff that followed, the Republican won by 15 percentage points.

These runoffs tend to bring out people who are very passionate about the election outcomes and those who are most passionate tend to be on the losing side of a presidential election.

Also, a lot of voters simply voted Democrat because they did not like President Trump but he will not be on the ticket during the runoff.

Thus, a lot of people don’t think that it is likely that Democrats could pull away with two seats.

So it is very likely that come the end of January we will have a Democratic President with a Republican controlled Senate and a Democrat controlled House.

Around that time, vaccines will already be getting distributed to many Americans and the outlook on the economic recovery could start looking better from that viewpoint.

But it’s also possible that the coronavirus numbers could be absurd during the peak of winter.

So there will be competing external factors affecting the outcome of the negotiations as well as competing internal factors within Congress and the White House.

Based on how the Georgia run off is looking, I would anticipate a bill getting passed at some point that is in the $1 trillion range to possibly up to $1.5 trillion.

But as long as Republicans control the Senate, I don’t see Democrats pushing anything close to the $2 to $3 trillion deals they have tossed around.

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