The 2020 election is upon us without Congress approving a second COVID-19 stimulus relief plan that would give Americans a second round of direct payments, extended unemployment benefits, and more.
However, how soon could you expect to see a plan passed after the election?
Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, told radio host Hugh Hewitt, according to Fox News, that he expects a second plan would occur “right at the beginning” of 2021. That puts his comments at odds with those of the president.
Of course, much hinges on the outcome of the November 3 election, including whether Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate and the White House. For now, McConnell’s comments hold a lot of weight because a vote in Congress is needed to get a stimulus package through. The U.S. Constitution gave funding authority to Congress.
Here’s what you need to know:
McConnell Focused on Relief to Small Businesses
In his comments to Hewitt, McConnell focused on the need small businesses have for relief. Republicans have tried to peel away narrower plans to help small businesses, but Democrats have consistently rejected smaller plans and are insisting on their $2.2 trillion overall price tag (McConnnell has said Senate Republicans could support only $500 billion, and the White House has proposed $1.8 trillion).
McConnell said the relief plan would be aimed “particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and, of course, the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” according to Fox News.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote on Twitter, “I woke up this morning and read @SpeakerPelosi’s letter to me in the press. Enclosed is my response. Her ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW!”
Here’s his response.
“While you accuse the Administration of holding up the negotiations, you refuse to bring to the floor of the House stand-alone legislation to support Airline workers, additional Paycheck Protection Program payments to small business, and additional Direct Payments that we can fund by using already approved money that we have not spent. Your ALL or NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW,” he wrote.
The President & Nancy Pelosi Have Expressed More Urgency
According to Fox, Pelosi was more optimistic on the timeline, saying, “certainly will have something [done] at the start of the new presidency.”
She added: “I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration,” Pelosi said.
Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of staff, wrote on Twitter, “Two weeks later, the White House still has not lived up to Secretary Mnuchin’s promise to accept Democrats’ language to crush the virus, and we still are waiting for meaningful responses in the areas the Speaker outlined.”
For his part, according to CNBC, President Donald Trump said, “we will have a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election.”