Despite several failed attempts to pass a new stimulus bill, members of Congress are saying that compromise legislation may still be in the offing before election day.
The most recent move to pass a bill failed due to a more than $1 trillion difference between Democrat and Republican stimulus proposals.
Although Democrats have continued to push for a bill with a roughly $2.2 trillion price tag, which would include just over $900 billion in relief for state and local governments, President Trump has now told reporters that he is willing to go as high as $1.5 trillion, adding: “Some Republicans disagree, but I think I can convince them to go along with that.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a CNBC interview, said she is holding out for a larger proposal, explaining: “It’s stimulus. We are a consumer economy and the more we have, whether it’s food stamps or unemployment insurance, that is stimulus to the economy.”
Both Democrat and Republican leaders say they want to act soon on replacing the $600 weekly enhanced federal unemployment insurance payments that expired at the end of July.
New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, in a press conference, said he counts himself as among those who are pushing for a reinstatement of the $600, calling it a “financial lifeline” for millions of Americans.
Udall also noted that a larger stimulus bill will “send relief to state, local, and tribal governments.”
In a speech on the Senate floor, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, remarked: “There is no one single package of legislation that we can walk away from, spike the ball, and say that our job is done here.”
Gardner went on to note that Congress may end up passing several different versions of relief legislation, each targeting various areas separately, rather than one large bill.
The House is scheduled to take an election break beginning on October 2, with the Senate following on October 9. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, new relief checks could be in the mail by the first week of November should Congress pass a bill before the scheduled breaks.
By Garry Boulard
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