Quantcast
Connect with us

Lawmakers more optimistic on COVID stimulus as election day looms

Published

on

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Screen capture)

Chances for approving a new spending package to support the US economy improved dramatically on Tuesday after the senior Democratic lawmaker said a bill is in the works and the top Senate Republican said he would bring it to a vote.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV that legislators are starting to commit the measure to paper and she is optimistic it can win bipartisan support.

ADVERTISEMENT

Whether policymakers can complete the negotiations in time for Congress to approve the package before the November 3 presidential election, however, remains a question mark.

“Our economy needs it. Hopefully by the end of the day today, we will know where we are,” she said in an interview. “We are starting to write the bill.”

While it must go through legislative steps, including approval by the House Appropriations Committee, “I am optimistic,” Pelosi said, but cautioned “Legislation is tough.”

The bill’s prospects got a boost after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly signaled that he would not support a massive package, said he would bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote.

“If a Presidentially-supported bill clears the House, at some point we’ll bring it to the floor, yes,” McConnell told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Economists say the coronavirus-ravaged US economy has held up well because of the massive injection of about $3 trillion in support for businesses and households, but needs more support to avert another downturn.

The talks between the White House and congressional Democrats have dragged on for months, and Pelosi was due to speak with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to see if the sides can finally narrow their differences.

Mnuchin is conducting the negotiations while on a trip to the Middle East, where he is traveling to Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

ADVERTISEMENT

Deadline that’s not a deadline

Pelosi on Sunday had said there were only 48 hours left to realistically agree on the package that could be approved before the election, but she explained Tuesday that the deadline was simply a process of working back on the timeline from election day.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It isn’t that this was a day that we would have a deal, it was having the terms on the table to be able to go to the next step. Legislation takes a long time,” she said.

The House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion package while President Donald Trump’s administration proposed a $1.8 trillion rescue measure.

Trump, who trails in national polls behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden, signaled he could go bigger, but Senate Republicans strenuously opposed the massive price tag and McConnell was trying to push much smaller, narrowly-targeted measures..

ADVERTISEMENT

A New York Times/Siena College poll published Tuesday showed 72 percent of likely voters support a stimulus package. The survey also showed Trump had lost ground to Biden, trailing by nine points at 41 percent.

Since business shutdowns began in March, tens of millions of workers have lost their jobs, while the economy saw the worst contraction since the Great Depression.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits and provided loans and grants to small businesses. However those provisions expired months ago.

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath told AFP last week that a US rescue package of around $2 trillion would boost growth in the world’s biggest economy by two percentage points next year, over the 3.1 percent GDP rise currently forecast.

ADVERTISEMENT

With additional reporting from Raw Story.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Georgia Republicans slammed for only caring about Trump’s voter fraud lies when it threatens to harm them

Published

on

Republicans are growing increasingly worried that conspiracy theories about mass election fraud may depress voter turnout and could cost them in the upcoming Georgia runoffs, and according to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, there's a "vile aspect" to this development that's no laughing matter.

"Georgia Republicans don’t mind when Trump lies about the integrity of their elections in a way that they think will help them," he writes. "They only mind when Trump lies about the integrity of their elections in a way that threatens to harm them."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

More Republican Senators seem open to another huge stimulus — despite McConnell’s resistance

Published

on

While COVID-19 vaccines are on their way, the impact of the pandemic has worsened in the United States due to large gatherings, holiday travel and the ongoing resistance of some to wear a mask. Eviction rates are climbing, contributing to more COVID cases, bankruptcies are up too, and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat or closing their doors forever.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s legal challenge faces another setback in Wisconsin

Published

on

President Donald Trump's legal challenges suffered yet another loss in his long-shot bid to overturn his election defeat.

Wisconsin's Supreme Court denied a petition by his lawyers to challenge the president's loss there, bringing their record in such cases to one win and 41 losses, reported the Associated Press.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning against the state's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and various county election officials, asked to exclude 221,000 ballots fro the results over alleged instances of fraud and illegal conduct.

Continue Reading