Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican who is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says, speaking of a second stimulus relief plan, that he doesn’t “see it happening,” at least not before the presidential election, according to Bloomberg.
Shelby made the comments on October 23, with the U.S. Senate planning to leave town on Monday, October 26 after the Amy Coney Barrett nomination vote. The votes of the Republicans in the Senate would be needed to get any plan through. Although the Senate could be called back, since the election is on November 3, once the Senate leaves town, it’s highly unlikely it would return before that time.
“At this point in time, Friday before the Monday we’re scheduled to leave, it’d take a colossal get-together, just a huge get-together, to put a stimulus package together, and I don’t see it happening,” said Shelby, according to the news site.
Could a deal be struck before the Senate leaves on Monday? That’s unlikely judging from the wars of words that have erupted, with President Donald Trump blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Pelosi blaming Trump. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that Republicans in the Senate won’t back a plan as high as either those that the White House or Democrats are floating ($1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, respectively.) McConnell has said Republicans will object to anything over $500 billion.
Here’s what you need to know:
Another Republican Senator Agrees With Shelby That a Second Package Probably Won’t Happen Before the Election
It’s not only Shelby. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, who is second in GOP leadership, said the Senate probably doesn’t have enough time to pass the plan before November 3 anymore but it could be a very different matter “once the dust settles and the smoke clears from the election,” Bloomberg reported.
Trump blamed Pelosi.
“Now we’re talking and we’ll see what happens but at this moment I would say that I actually think Nancy would rather wait ‘til after the election,” he said, according to Reuters, which added that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal.”
Trump has repeatedly voice support for a stimulus package but can’t get it done without Congress.
Pelosi Says Republicans Keep ‘Moving the Goal Post’
House Speaker Pelosi on a new stimulus bill: “To do anything, though, that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance and to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: Testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing, ventilation, separation, and the rest” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/3CiZj25dPN
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
Pelosi for her part went on Jake Tapper’s show on CNN and said of Republicans and stimulus funding “They keep moving the goal post,” according to The Hill.
Tapper specifically asked whether there will be a stimulus package before the election. Pelosi said she wasn’t giving up hope.
“I’ll never give up hope,” she said on Sunday, according to The Hill. “I’m optimistic. We put pen to paper and have been writing the bill based on what we hope will be the outcome, what they said they would get back to us on.”
“We have to act,” she said. “To do anything though that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance. And to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: Testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing, ventilation, separation, and the rest.”