Today, while the race for President still hung in the balance but while it seemed likely that Republicans would hold their majority in the Senate in the new Congress in 2021, current Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at a press conference in Kentucky that a corona said Wednesday that an economic stimulus bill should be completed before the end of the year and will be the focus when the Senate resumes work next week.
“We need another rescue package. The Senate goes back into session next Monday. Hopefully the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election. And I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year,” McConnell said. “It’s a possibility we will do more for state and local governments.”
Two questions for you.
First, do you believe McConnell? Before the election he did everything he could to kill the large stimulus package passed by the House. Every bill he proposed was so small that it stood no chance of passing in that chamber. And he couldn’t even pass any of those bills in the Senate. What are the odds that he will propose something now that stands a chance of passing in the House?
Second, do you think that McConnell can actually deliver? Before the election even the smaller bills he proposed aroused huge Republican opposition. The original House bill was too costly, Republican Senators argued. The House compromise was too costly. Even the White House negotiating proposal was too expensive. Senate leadership said that it doubted it could get even 13 Republican votes for any of McConnell’s “too small” packages. And now Republican opposition to a $1.5 or $2 billion stimulus package is going to vanish? (Doubtful especially because if President Donald Trump loses his bid for re-election, he’s likely to put even less effort into prodding Republican senators into voting for a stimulus package than he did before the vote.)
Complicating the issue is the need to negotiate new funding for the federal government before the current stop-gap measure expires on December 11. McConnell said today that he and Speaker Pelosi agree that the new funding measure soiled include new levels of spending for fiscal 2021 (which started in October in 2020) rather than simply extending current spending levels as the stop-gap measure did.
Won’t those talks be fun!