Stimulus package negotiations: Senate’s Monday vote sets up a new Trump showdown

Stimulus package negotiations: Senate’s Monday vote sets up a new Trump showdown

With less than three weeks until the Nov. 3 election, a conflict is brewing that could result in a standoff within a Republican party divided on the contents and price tag of a new stimulus bill.

On Monday, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell will lead his members in a vote on a $500 billion stand-alone bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan for businesses to help keep employees during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. McConnell has made it clear he’s not in favor of the larger $1.8 trillion offer currently being negotiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and supported by President Donald Trump.


“[Trump] is willing to go higher than my members are,” McConnell told reporters Thursday, according to the Washington Post, setting up a potential clash with Trump. The president is expected to pressure McConnell to bring a final stimulus bill to a vote, Bloomberg reported Friday.

“If Speaker Pelosi wanted a deal, we could round up enough Senate Republicans to get a deal,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Friday.

Mnuchin and Pelosi are making progress on the stimulus bill, which would include a second stimulus check for up to $1,200 per individual and more for families. Having cleared the hurdle of funding for testing and contact tracing, the problem getting the support of Senate Republicans is mounting.

The impending election isn’t the only source of urgency to pass more stimulus aid. On Thursday, the Department of Labor announced a total of 886,000 new jobless claims for the week — up 77,000 from the week prior. And 14 million people who were helped by the CARES Act’s $600 per week unemployment benefit fell back into poverty after benefits expired, a new study from the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy (PDF), published Thursday, found.

“We need to get money to the American public now, the people that are most hurting,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Thursday.

“Our disagreements are about more than dollars and cents,” Pelosi wrote Thursday night about the terms of negotiations. “They are about values and common sense and respect for lives, livelihoods and life of our American Democracy.”

Although it’s unclear how the impending three-way war of wills between Republicans, the White House and Democrats could impact the fate of the stimulus package. So what could happen next? Read on for more details on the bumpy path of stimulus talks. We update this story often…Read more>>



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