Second Stimulus Update: GOP Bill Fails In The Senate. Will There Ever Be More Relief?
The Senate on Thursday failed to pass a pared-down coronavirus relief bill introduced this week by Senate Republicans, with both Democrats and the GOP accusing each other of political maneuvering at the cost of providing critical relief to Americans; with the latest effort now dead in the water, it’s not clear whether there will be any more federal coronavirus relief any time soon.
All Republican Senators with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted yes on the filibuster vote, leading to a 52-47 result; Republicans needed 60 votes for the bill to be successful.
Even if the so-called “skinny” bill had passed, it had no chance of making it through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
Most in Washington considered the GOP bill an effort by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to unite a fractured Republican party ahead of the November election.
By coalescing around a targeted stimulus effort—even a small one that they knew Democrats would oppose—GOP senators up for reelection would have been able to say they voted for vital relief that Democrats stonewalled.
The bill included a $300 per week federal unemployment supplement, more money and expanded terms for the Paycheck Protection Program, and more money for schools, testing and tracing, and the post office.
It contained two major provisions Democrats vehemently opposed: sweeping Covid-19 liability protections for businesses and schools and a tax credit that would help with private school tuition.
It didn’t include any new money for state and local aid or another round of $1,200 stimulus checks (a provision that at one point had the backing of both parties as well as the White House).
$300 billion. That’s how much new spending the GOP bill would have appropriated. Another $350 billion in spending in the bill would have be repurposed from unspent CARES Act appropriations. Democrats, who in May passed their $3 trillion opening proposal for the next relief bill, have said they won’t support any new legislation worth less than about $2 trillion. The White House has previously indicated it would support a bill worth $1.5 trillion.
What We Don’t Know
There’s no indication that bipartisan talks are scheduled to start up again soon, according to the Washington Post. The Trump administration has reached a preliminary agreement with Democrats to fund the government beyond the September 30 deadline, and it’s looking increasingly likely that any more conversations about economic relief might be put on pause until after the November election.
Republican ‘Skinny’ Stimulus Bill Headed For A Vote—Here’s What’s In It, And What’s Not (Forbes)
Mike Pence Says The White House Still Wants To Send Second Stimulus Checks (Forbes)
Schumer Slams Skinny GOP Stimulus Bill, Urges Democrats To Stick Together As Washington Remains Deadlocked (Forbes)
Economy Needs At Least $1.3 Trillion In New Stimulus To Sustain Recovery, Bridgewater CIO Says (Forbes)