‘Go big or go home!,’ Trump says of additional coronavirus stimulus
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate would vote on a “targeted” stimulus bill next week.
SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump continued to pushed lawmakers to give him a “big” coronavirus economic relief bill before the Nov. 3 general election.
“STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!,” the president tweeted Tuesday.
As the global pandemic rages on, the president has steadily called on Congress to bring him additional legislation, to include a bill would send Americans another round individual stimulus checks.
This month, Congress has continued to make some progress towards pandemic stimulus as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many areas of the country and businesses suffer from the economic fallout, but there was no clear comprise in sight.
Senate will vote on own bill next week
“When the full Senate returns on Oct. 19, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in statement Tuesday.
The Kentucky senator, who is also up for reelection this year, blamed Democrats for not supporting individual “targeted” bills — like a continuation of the CARES Act’s expired Payment Protection Program — in lieu of a more expensive, multifaceted relief bill.
“Unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as it is reported by the Judiciary Committee,” McConnell insisted. The Senate Judiciary began four days of questioning Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett this week.
There were no other details about what would be in or how much a new Senate bill would cost in McConnell’s statement.
Democrats and White House keep up talks
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., continued negotiations on a future bill as Mnuchin offered a $1.8 trillion package on behalf of the Trump administration.
The nearly $2 trillion bill included the reallocation of the unspent funds earmarked in earlier coronavirus legislation, The Wall Street Journal reported. The administration’s offer to the House Democrats appeared to be an olive branch after months of negotiations.
On Oct. 1, Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion bill in the House — a scaled down version of the $3 trillion HEROES Act that made it through the House in May, but was never picked up by the Senate.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. said during a phone call with Mnuchin and White House Chief Mark Meadows that “there’s no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number,” two sources told Politico.
The Hill also reported, according to a source, that Alexander did say the Senate Republican Conference had “no appetite” for the $1.8 trillion bill.
The Fed says more aid needed
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled to Congress last week that more government spending is needed for the economy, and the people in it, to weather the pandemic.
Speaking remotely to an annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics last week, Powell warned of the risks of holding back help.
“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth,” Powell said.
“By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste. The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods.”