This story is developing.
President Donald Trump said ‘“higher numbers’’ are needed for the next stimulus package.
Here’s what you need to know.
Trump tweeted Wednesday: ‘Democrats are “heartless”. They don’t want to give STIMULUS PAYMENTS to people who desperately need the money, and whose fault it was NOT that the plague came in from China. Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!).’’
Trump’s push for a higher stimulus package comes as the president faces re-election in November and millions of Americans are unemployed or struggling financially from the Covid-19 pandemic. That said, higher spending may place Trump at odds with Senate Republicans who have proposed a $500 billion stimulus package that didn’t include second stimulus checks. That stimulus proposal was preceded by the Heals Act, a $1 trillion stimulus bill that Senate Republicans proposed this summer.
‘”I’m not sure what higher number means … but I know sort of what the threshold is for what we can (get) Republican votes for in the Senate, and if the numbers are too high anything that got passed in the Senate would be passed mostly with Democrat votes and a handful of Republicans,’ Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) told CNN. ‘It’s got to have a realistic range if we want to maximize, optimize, the number of Republican senators that will vote for it.”
How big will the next stimulus package be?
What will be included in the next stimulus package? In reaching a potential deal, Senate Republicans may focus on a headline number and for their policy priorities within that range. Initially, that headline number was $1 trillion. However, Sen. Lindsay Graham (S-SC) noted that up to half of Senate Republicans would ‘no’ on the Heals Act, suggesting $1 trillion of stimulus spending would disappoint fiscal conservatives. More recently, Republicans rallied around a skinnier stimulus package with a $500 billion price tag, although that legislative proposal likely won’t pass. In contrast, Democrats want $2.2 trillion for the next stimulus package, according to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). That’s nearly two-thirds the size of The Heroes Act, which Democrats proposed earlier this year for the next stimulus package.
Congress is now in session. While there is no guarantee there will be a stimulus deal, both parties appear interested in striking a deal. However, both political parties are at an impasse. Given that many members of Congress spend October campaigning for re-election, a stimulus deal may not get done before November.