What couldn’t be achieved in the weeks before the presidential election may become reality before Christmas as President-elect Joe Biden appears ready to push for Congressional passage of new stimulus legislation.
Earlier this fall Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders were unable to agree on a spending bill ranging in size from $500 billion to $2 trillion.
But, according to sources, Biden has expressed concerns that the country could be facing a recessionary economy in 2021, thus making the need for a new stimulus bill more pressing.
Many of Biden’s top economic advisers, according to the New York Times, are particularly worried about a “wave of evictions and foreclosures” requiring “more urgent action before year’s end.”
That action may see a Democrat proposal smaller than the $2 trillion earlier proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
There are also indications that Biden, upon taking office, may issue a series of executive orders deferring student loan payments and extending moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.
The Biden team has said that new stimulus legislation is particularly needed because of a wave of lockdowns in response to a recent spike in Covid-19 deaths.
The initial pandemic stimulus legislation passed by Congress resulted in more than 160 million Americans receiving a check of at least $1,200 from the Treasury Department last spring.
For his part, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is open to new stimulus legislation sooner rather than later.
Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell remarked: “We want to reach agreement on all areas where compromise is well within reach, send hundreds of billions of dollars to urgent and uncontroversial programs, and let Washington argue over the rest later.”
By Garry Boulard
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