Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that when the full Senate returns Monday, the “first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding” for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Unless Democrats “block this aid for workers,” McConnell said, “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.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told House and Senate lawmakers Monday to “immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive [stimulus] package.”
Mnuchin and Meadows “are right,” McConnell said. “There is no excuse for Democrats to keep blocking job-saving funding for the Paycheck Protection Program while other conversations continue.”
With the economy showing signs of softening, passing a stimulus bill could give President Donald Trump “a badly needed victory,” as Trump remains the underdog in the election, according to Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist for AGF Investments.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., however, “knows this” and has been unwilling to accept a new $1.8 trillion stimulus plan from the administration and is being accused of stonewalling, Valliere said in his Wednesday morning email briefing.
Pelosi’s “restive troops want to deal,” Valliere said. “A deal could help Trump, but most Republicans were aghast at the Mnuchin price tag; they won’t accept anything close to $1 trillion, which means Trump is unlikely to get a compromise.”
After tweeting on Oct. 6 that he had instructed his “representatives to stop negotiating” on a new stimulus package until after the election, Trump reversed course, tweeting on Tuesday: “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!”
When asked in a recent CNN interview why she wouldn’t accept Trump’s latest $1.8 trillion plan, Pelosi responded: “Why don’t they accept ours?,” referring to House Democrats’ revised $2.2 trillion Heroes Act, passed by the House on Oct. 1.
Trump, Valliere opined, “still has a chance to rally and win reelection; it’s a still not out of the question despite Joe Biden’s lead of about 10 points.”
Valliere opined that “there’s little chance Trump could win the popular vote, so his best hope is that he gets close to a tie in the Electoral College; Biden’s lead in the battleground states is not insurmountable.”
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