House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a direct message for her fellow Republicans on the upcoming stimulus package: take it or leave it.
Here is what you need to know.
Stimulus Package: $ 2.2 trillion or nothing
Congress is at a “tragic stalemate” over the next stimulus package, says Pelosi, a Democrat from California. Pelosi told Republicans there will be no further talks until Republicans agree to a $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package, which is almost double the size of the original Republican stimulus proposal known as the Heals Act.
“We have said over and over again that we are ready to go down [and] meet them in the middle, ”Pelosi told reporters, referring to Republicans in the Senate. “It would be $ 2.2 trillion. When they are ready to do so, we will be ready to discuss and negotiate. I did not have this impression during this call.
Pelosi: We are not moving
Pelosi is referring to a 25-minute call she had with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Thursday. The phone call was the first stimulus talk between Democrats and Republicans since August 7, when many expected Congress to pass the next stimulus package. The problem is clear: Republicans are not interested in doubling the size of the next stimulus package. Republicans proposed the Heals Act, a $ 1 trillion stimulus package, as the next stimulus plan. In contrast, Democrats proposed the Heroes Act, a $ 3 trillion stimulus bill. As Pelosi wants to meet in the middle, Republicans say they are concerned about total stimulus spending, which has already surpassed several trillions of dollars.
“It could be a very short conversation if they’re not ready to meet in the middle. We are not moving. They have to move.
Stimulus package: 3 potential scenarios
Will Senate Republicans respond to Pelosi’s ultimatum? Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have both said Republicans will not accept a $ 2 trillion price tag for the next stimulus. Faced with this impasse, where do we go from here?
Here are 3 potential scenarios for what could happen next.
1. There is no revival agreement
There may simply be no other stimulus package. It almost seems unbelievable, given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last month that a stimulus deal could be finalized in several weeks. Both sides wanted a stimulus deal, even though they had not agreed on funding amounts and political priorities. With 35 senators and all members of the House of Representatives vying for re-election in November, it always helps for elected officials to return to their constituencies and show concrete financial relief to their constituents. Without a stimulus package, there may not be a second stimulus check or additional funding for federal unemployment benefits, the opening of schools, the payment protection plan, small business loans and more. coronavirus tests, for example. For a large and comprehensive stimulus package, McConnell needs bipartisan support. However, if the two sides cannot agree on total spending, there won’t be a big stimulus bill.
2. Republicans pass their own stimulus bill
Republicans could pass their own Senate stimulus bill …without democrats. That didn’t seem possible last month because some budget-conservative Republicans opposed an additional $ 1,000 billion in federal spending. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) then said on Fox news this “half of republicans will vote “no” to more aid. It’s just a fact. Conservatives are focused on limiting federal spending and note that Congress has approved billions of dollars in spending for previous stimuli in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some conservatives also say that spending more money is not the way problems should be solved.
That said, it is possible that Senate Republicans will pass a smaller stimulus bill, which could appease conservative Republicans. If McConnell can find enough Republican support, he could pass a smaller stimulus bill with more limited bipartisan support. Senate Republicans work on new $ 500 billion stimulus bill which could include funding for:
3. Republicans agree to $ 2 trillion stimulus deal
Finally, Republicans could agree to a $ 2 trillion stimulus package to appease Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). While not impossible, it is highly improbable. Senate Republicans would be open to a $ 1 trillion stimulus package, if Democrats agree. So either the Democrats accept $ 1,000 billion, or the Republicans accept $ 2,000 billion (or they compromise on another number). Otherwise, the deadlock is likely to continue until September.
Next Steps: Where Do We Go From Here?
Based on Pelosi’s comments, either Republicans must accept his proposal or they can pass their own legislation in the Senate. Currently, Congress is on vacation, although members can return to Washington on 24 hours’ notice. The Senate is on vacation until September 8 and the House of Representatives is on vacation until September 14. Senate Republicans could introduce a new stimulus bill as early as this week. If it won’t include all Democratic priorities, will it be enough to satisfy the American people and provide essential financial relief?