Despite Nancy Pelosi’s best efforts to prevent stimulus funds from reaching needy Americans before the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there will be a vote on a limited stimulus bill this month.
He said he expects the Senate to work on the legislation on Monday. McConnell called it “targeted relief for American workers, including new funding” for the Paycheck Protection Program as well as money for schools, a boost to unemployment insurance and liability protection for businesses.
“When the full Senate returns on October 19th, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP,” said McConnell.
Shortly after McConnell’s announcement, President Trump tweeted “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!”
President Trump “wants to do a deal,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow during an interview late last week.
McConnell said the Senate will still have time to pass the limited stimulus bill. They will also still have time confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, “unless Democrats block this aid for workers.”
Efforts on Making a Deal
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a roughly $1.8 trillion plan over the weekend. This is only $400 billion less than the bill House Democrats already passed. The offer included $300 billion in aid for state and local governments and $400 per week in enhanced unemployment insurance through January. It also includes a second round of stimulus checks sent to Americans and liability protections for businesses.
As expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the offer.
Pelosi has drawn scorn in recent days from within her own party for her unwillingness to compromise in a stimulus plan.
“Nancy Pelosi take this deal!” Andrew Yang, a former Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted on Saturday. “Put politics aside people are hurting.”
Rep. Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, also tweeted that Pelosi needs to make a deal instead of digging in her heels.
“People in need can’t wait until February. 1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure. Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.”
There’s a bit of pushback from some Republican lawmakers as well. They don’t see the need to spend trillions of dollars when the economy is recovering on its own.
Lamar Alexander, a Republican Senator from Tennessee said “There’s no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number.”
His colleague from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, said that if Republicans accept a bill with Pelosi’s support, it would be a “death knell” for the party’s efforts to maintain majority control of the Senate.