Americans are still on hold regarding a second stimulus. Most current update below. Do you think another stimulus will be available prior to the election?
An economic relief package in the next two weeks dimmed on Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that he has warned the White House not to strike an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the the Nov. 3 election.
In remarks at a closed-door Senate GOP lunch, McConnell told his colleagues that Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not negotiating in good faith with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and any deal they reach could disrupt the Senate’s plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next week. Republicans have voiced concerns that a stimulus deal could splinter the party and exacerbate divisions at a time when they are trying to rally behind the Supreme Court nominee. The comments were confirmed by three people who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss them.
McConnell’s attempted intervention came as Pelosi and Mnuchin continued negotiating over the roughly $2 trillion economic relief package. No deal can become law without McConnell’s blessing, and his direct warning to the White House imperils the chances of any bill becoming law in the next two weeks.
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that if a deal were reached and passed by the House with President Trump’s support he would put it on the Senate floor “at some point” — but did not commit to doing so before the election.
The deal under discussion would provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, more unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, money for coronavirus testing, and support for airlines and hospitals, among other things.
Trump has in recent days downplayed or dismissed conservative opposition to spending trillions more on a stimulus, saying he wants to spend even more money than Pelosi’s latest $2.2 trillion proposal. Many Republicans already balked at spending more than $1 trillion on this round of relief.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNBC on Tuesday afternoon that Mnuchin and Pelosi have made “good progress” and that negotiations would continue on Wednesday. Still, he said major hurdles remain, with the negotiators “several hundred billion” dollars apart and also at odds over the extent of state and local money.
Trump is “very bullish” about not letting a difference in dollar amounts stand in the way of a deal. Trump, for his part, has brushed aside complaints from Senate Republicans and said they will ultimately back a package if he tells them to. “It’s very simple: I want to do it even bigger than the Democrats,” Trump said. “They’ll be on board if something comes.”
The scrambling comes amid numerous concerns about the economy. The unemployment rate remains high, the travel industry remains in rough shape, and there are growing concerns about problems in the commercial real estate sector. Many restaurants are still struggling, and some continue to go out of business seven months after the pandemic floored the American economy.