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Senate Republicans are sending signals they think Trump is going down

October 16, 2020 in Blogs

By Igor Derysh

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., torpedoed a possible compromise deal on the stimulus between House Democrats and the White House on Thursday.

Millions of people have fallen into poverty since aid dried up months ago, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has pleaded for Congress to provide more relief, because there is little risk of “overdoing” it. But McConnell on Wednesday said a deal worth between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion was about four times more than Republicans would agree to — even though it is a far cry from the $3.4 trillion bill passed by House Democrats in May.

“I don’t think so,” McConnell told reporters when asked if he would agree to a deal in that range. “That’s where the administration is willing to go. My members think half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go.”

McConnell acknowledged that Trump had been eager to increase the price tag, but the bill being negotiated between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was “not what I’m going to put on the floor.”

McConnell previously announced that he would force a vote on a $500 billion bill next week after House Democrats approved a $2.2 trillion compromise last month.

The majority leader’s reluctance comes as studies show that roughly 8 million people have fallen into poverty after their stimulus payments ran out and enhanced federal unemployment benefits expired in July. One study found that 6 million people have fallen into poverty in just the last three months, with Black and Latinx people and children disproportionately impacted.

Powell warned Congress earlier this month that failing to pass another large stimulus package would “lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

“A long period of unnecessarily slow progress could continue to exacerbate existing disparities in our economy,” he said. “That would be tragic, especially in light of our country’s progress on these issues in the years leading up to the pandemic.”

Trump, who faces a steep climb in the polls with less than three weeks before the election, has signaled that he would also like to see a larger bill after failing to gain leverage by claiming to end all talks and urging …read more


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