As both Republicans and Democrats wrangle over the amount of a second COVID-19 related stimulus bill, Americans patiently wait. And wait. And wait.
Currently, the Republicans are considering a new $500 billion stimulus bill while Democrats have remained firm on a $2.2 trillion for the next stimulus. So, why would Republicans introduce a smaller stimulus bill when both Democrats and the president want a larger stimulus bill? Here are 3 reasons:
1. Republicans may support a smaller stimulus package
Most Senate Republicans don’t support another $1 trillion stimulus package. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that as many as 20 Republican senators (if not more) don’t want any new stimulus spending. One solution to the issue is to appease fiscally conservative senators. A smaller bill isn’t the same as absolutely no spending. However, at $500 billion, it’s half the amount of the Heals Act and about a quarter less of Democrats $2.2 trillion request. It’s very likely that Senate Republicans could “warm up” to a smaller bill, while showing some unity within the party.
2. Republicans get a win
The bottom-line is that Congress will likely never pass a $500 billion, stimulus bill. Republicans control 53 seats in the Senate, but they need 60 to override the Democratic filibuster. So in short, if this bill were to pass, it would need Democratic support in both the Senate and House which Democrats control. However, Senate Republicans can claim a symbolic win even if the legislation fails by arguing that they are the party introducing new legislation in the middle of this soap opera, forcing a vote and claiming that Democrats shot it down. With the Presidential election in November, Republicans want to portray themselves as working to pass immediate financial relief for the American people. Meanwhile, Democrats can argue that Republicans are playing cheap with a stimulus bill doesn’t help all Americans.
3. Chance to re-open negotiations with Democrats
Should Congress fails to pass this new stimulus bill, Republicans can bring Democrats back to the negotiations. After all, both parties want a stimulus deal. The true factor in the delay is the size of the stimulus bill, and the amount of state and local aid to be distributed. It’s anyone’s guess what will or won’t happen at this point. However, by introducing a new stimulus bill, Republicans could lead the way in talks on funds hitting American bank accounts.