A top Washington D.C. investment strategist now says the “clock has run out,” when it comes to the chances of Congress passing a second stimulus relief plan before the November 3 presidential election.
A second plan is expected to contain another round of $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus checks – if it could get through Congress. However, for months, Democrats and Republicans in Congress – and the White House – have disagreed over the amount of a second plan and bickered over who is to blame.
Democrats wanted a plan worth $2.2 trillion, the White House was willing to come up to $1.8 trillion, and Senate Republicans were okay with only $500 billion. The Republican-controlled Senate is now leaving town after the vote of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
And the election is only a week away.
Here’s what you need to know:
The ‘Clock Has Run Out’
The group’s strategist told CNBC that negotiations will likely continue in a “lame duck” session between the presidential election and a new Congress coming into session, which is normally not, according to the network, a “productive time to get legislation passed.
Tom Lee, Fundstrat Global Advisors founder, previously told CNBC that a stimulus deal would “provide an important bridge to the economy because… there’s a lot of Americans suffering.”
He said investors should “add exposure to cyclical stocks,” in the words of CNBC, if a deal is reached.
Both Sides Had a Monday Phone Call That Didn’t Produce a Deal
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have continued having stimulus talks to no avail. There was one such meeting on Monday, October 27.
According to Bloomberg, a key sticking point remains language for a national COVID-19 testing strategy.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s chief of staff, wrote on Twitter on October 26:
The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke today at 2:00 p.m. by phone for 52 minutes. As the nation faces record spikes in new COVID cases, we continue to eagerly await the Administration’s acceptance of our health language, which includes a national strategic plan on testing and tracing. We are hopeful their response will be positive as we also await the outcomes of talks between committee chairs. It is clear that our progress depends on Leader McConnell agreeing to bipartisan, comprehensive legislation to crush the virus, honor our heroes – our essential workers – and put money in the pockets of the American people. The Speaker remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached before the election.
For their part, both Mnuchin and President Donald Trump have blamed Pelosi for not reaching a deal, with Trump accusing the House Speaker of not wanting to pass a plan before the election because he thinks she perceives her side is getting an electoral advantage by waiting. Both Mnuchin and Pelosi accused each other of moving the “goal posts” on an amount during Sunday appearances on television.