With days before the elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “No” to stimulus relief. She then blamed the White House for the failure.
In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi heaped the blame on the White House. “For a long time now, Congressional Democrats have laid out a strategic plan to crush the virus. The White House and Mitch McConnell have resisted, and on Sunday, Mark Meadows told us why saying ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic.'” Pelosi referred to Chief of Staff Meadow’s interview last Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union.”
She noted: “From ‘hoax' to hundreds of thousands dead, the White House has failed miserably — not by accident, but by decision. Now we know why they resisted science at the expense of lives, livelihoods, and the life of our democracy. Again, it was a decision to do so.”
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin negotiated with Pelosi for weeks. The Speaker set a deadline last week to finish the stimulus package. The deadline allows the legislators to vote on the final bill before the elections.
The Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion Covid- aid 19 bill. But, Senate Republicans and Mnuchin found the budget too expensive. They countered with a lower costing bill at $1.8 trillion. Trump said he can go higher if needed.
In the end, both sides remained far apart in negotiations. Pelosi threw in the towel yesterday.
A Case of Bad Timing
The decision to forego talks on stimulus relief comes at the heels of higher Covid-19 cases. Infections reached a record high over the weekend, with over 83,000 new cases reported. As of this week, there are 1.7 million Americans infected and 227,000 dead. Yet, there are no signs that the pandemic is slowing down.
There are reports that House Democrats could grow in number in this year’s elections. Pelosi committed to writing legislation in aid of struggling American workers. She said: “This week, we continue to put pen to paper, with thanks to our Committee Chairs for their mastery of the legislation and loyalty to America’s working families.” She included a dig on Trump and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. “The President’s words only have meaning if he can get Mitch McConnell to take his hand off the pause button,” she added.
Trump Fires Back
In response, the White House fired back at Pelosi last Tuesday. Trump said “Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run, crime-ridden Democrat cities and states. That’s all she is interested in. She is not interested in helping people.”
Trump promised that once the GOP wins, they’ll get an aid package ready. He said “After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen. I think we are going to take back the House because of her.” Trump looked forward to getting the House back. He said “I think you have a lot of congressmen and women – Republican – that are going to get elected. We will take back the House. We’ll hold the Senate. We’ll hold the White House.”
Other CARES Act Benefits Expiring Soon
Besides a stimulus check, Americans received many benefits under the CARES Act. This bill expired last July, but some of the provisions managed to hold on longer. Here are some of the benefits and their shelf lives.
401(k) hardship withdrawals and loans, unemployment can continue to do so until the end of 2020. You will owe taxes on the withdrawal, but there aren't any automatic deductions. Tax payments can spread out up to three years. 401(k) loan payments due between March 27 to December 31 will extend to next year, but with interest.
Federal enhanced unemployment benefits ended in July will continue in some other form. Depending on your state’s coverage, some provisions will remain in place until the end of the year. Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers remain qualified for state benefits. These last until December 31, 2020.
Bans Will Remain
Evictions will remain banned until the end of the year. This is via a “historic” order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those needing mortgage relief due to coronavirus can still request help. They can choose between six months of deferral or lower payments. While the CARES Act doesn’t specify the duration, it’s likely available as long as the pandemic is ongoing. At the least, this covers loans until the end of the year.
Finally, the student loan moratorium remains in effect until January 2021.
To paraphrase a famous saying: When Elephants and Donkeys fight, it’s the grass that suffers. A week to go before the elections and much-needed relief remains unavailable. Americans who remained resilient must now endure a few more months. They will need to fend for themselves while Congress and the Senate bicker over details.
Watch this as Donald J. Trump, the President said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run Democrat cities and states:
Who is to blame for these negotiations made in bad faith? Is it the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and their spend-at-all-costs proposal? Or is the GOP, who insisted that lower is better? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.