In typical Washington fashion, negotiations are producing a bipartisan agreement on coronavirus relief in the final hours before a government shutdown and the holiday break. Will it be in time for Americans still reeling from the pandemic?
Congress is inching towards a deal on another COVID-19 stimulus bill with a $900 billion price tag, which President-elect called “an important down payment” as he committed to further relief legislation next year.
- If passed, it will likely be attached to a must-pass government funding bill required by Friday to avert a shutdown.
- The likely deal is expected to include a $600 stimulus payment for many Americans, less than a bipartisan duo of Republican Senator Josh Hawley and Independent (though caucuses with Democrats) Senator Bernie Sanders called for earlier this week.
- Supplemental unemployment benefits and additional aid for small business are all but guaranteed to be incorporated into the bill.
- Politico reported the deal leaves out two contentious provisions: liability protections for businesses and state and local government funding, the latter of which left several governors upset.
- Analysis of the proposal by The Hill suggests Senate Majority Leader has the upper hand and the final bill is much closer to his proposals during the months of stalemate between the Democrat-controlled House and Republican-led Senate.
- Vox argues that due to the “months of will-they-or-won’t-they dance” of Congressional leaders, a last-minute passage will result in a lag between passage and implementation as the new year starts and benefits for millions are cut off.
- The Washington Post stressed the urgency of passing aid quickly, saying the economic conditions are pointing to “deterioration in the face of the resurgent pandemic” while highlighting Senator Sanders’ belief the bill is insufficient and that Democrats caved to Republicans.
- The New York Times repeatedly stressed Washington’s paralysis over the partisan stalemate for most of this year on another round of coronavirus stimulus.
- Fox Business joined more mainstream outlets in emphasizing the necessity in passing another round of relief as job growth has tapped the brakes and as many as 12 million Americans will be left without benefits on December 26th.
- Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. stock market is expected to rise on the back of a stimulus deal announcement.
- Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ vehement opposition to any negotiations with Republicans was highlighted by The Blaze.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020