July 31 Stimulus Update: Will White House BREAK From G.O.P Republicans For Sake of a Deal?COVID-19
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Stimulus Update 7/31/2020
Yesterday, we have covered various topics, from the stimulus negotiations, Trump teasing a bigger stimulus check, Mitt Romney’s unemployment proposal, Romney’s and Rubio’s $1,000 stimulus check proposal that would give $1,000 per non-dependent and $1,000 per dependent, and also the Senate’s failure yesterday to pass an unemployment extension
Don’t want to read? Watch the video here!
State of the Stimulus Negotiations
Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans still aren’t going well, even beyond the unemployment even beyond the unemployment piece.
We know the unemployment is the battleground right now — and we’re going to talk about that — but there’s also the issue of liability protection, which is Mitch McConnell’s dealbreaker.
In basic terms, it’s a 5-year shield for businesses from lawsuits claiming that someone got coronavirus at their business as long as the business is making reasonable efforts to comply with government standards and guidance regarding social distancing and masks and hand washing and all that.
Democrats hate it because they think that this liability protection will block many legitimate lawsuits.
But Mitch McConnell has said that there will not be another stimulus bill without liability protection in it.
White House Breaking With Senate Republicans?
However, according to anonymous sources at, the Washington Post, the White House views liability protection as “important but not absolutely essential.”
Anonymous sources say that, push comes to shove, the White House would be willing to make a deal with Democrats that doesn’t include this liability protection.
Where would this leave Mitch McConnell? I don’t know, but I know that he’s not in the room where it happens right now. All these meetings are being done behind closed doors, and in these meetings are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
And remember, sometimes these politicians put out these dealbreakers but are then forced to back off. Remember the payroll tax cut? White House backed off, now they might be saying, OK, Mitch, we were willing to give up the payroll tax cut to appease you all in the Senate, but can you give up the liability protection or at least water it down somewhat so we can get somewhere with the Democrats?
In a White House press conference this morning, both Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the White House’s priority right now is making sure people don’t get evicted with the federal eviction moratorium having expired last Friday.
Extending the eviction moratorium is nowhere in HEALS Act so I don’t know where they’re going with this, if you think that the eviction moratorium should be extended, why isn’t it in the Republican legislation, right?
Let’s move on to unemployment, which is truly the battleground right now in getting another stimulus bill passed. There are other hills to climb, state and local funding, liability protection that I spoke about previously, but with the FPUC now ending, this is the focus of the fight.
Because yes, the extra $600 weekly FPUC has for all practical purposes already ended in most states (July 25-26th) because it’s not paid for partial weeks, but it will statutorily expire tonight at midnight per the CARES Act, and the Senate is now out of town and will not return until this coming Monday, August 3.
Earlier this week McConnell was on PBS NewsHour, where he said, “Well, you know, things happen at the last minute around here,” but nothing happened at the last minute yesterday in the Senate other than partisan bickering.
The Senate was just looking as partisan as ever and couldn’t even approve a short-term extension of the $600 weekly. Some would say that this would be impossible to do anyway due to state computer systems.
Now, as I showed you the clip yesterday from the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was adamant yesterday that it’s HEROES Act or bust, which I personally think is ridiculous.
Both Parties Are to Blame
Both parties are to blame here, Republicans for just being so last-minute with their stimulus plans, they come out with their stimulus proposal on Monday, literally this past Monday, with the unemployment FPUC expiring on Friday, did they really think they were going to be able to strike a deal with the Democrats in five days’ time with a $2 trillion dollar chasm between them, between the $3 trillion HEROES Act and the $1 trillion HEALS Act?
That is just insanity. Poor planning.
Democrats, on the other hand, they didn’t really come up with a practical solution here either with the HEROES Act, and they don’t really seem willing to actually negotiate to meet in the middle here, at least not that one could discern from watching Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor yesterday.
Yesterday White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is leading the Republican stimulus negotiations and has met every day this week so far with Pelosi and Schumer, Meadows put it quite politically yesterday when he said that with respect to the Democrats, “The proposals we made were not received warmly.”
What to Look For Next Week
So where are we at right now with the unemployment, which is the focus of stimulus talks right now?
Well Mitch McConnel has cleared the path for a debate next week on the Senate Floor about unemployment.
According to Senate Republicans, it appears that the Republican position next week will start with the proposal by Senators Ron Johnson and Mike Braun that I told you about in my last video yesterday, which proposes ⅔ combined federal and state wage replacement if a state can wing it or if they can’t wing that due to technology or whatnot, it would propose a $200 per week federal kick-in on top of the normal state unemployment benefits reduced from the $600 weekly under the original FPUC.
Because remember, Republicans do need Democrats to get cloture, that is to advance a bill to a vote, they need 60 votes in the Senate to do that, they only need a simple majority, 51 votes, to pass something once it’s in that stage, but they need 60 votes for cloture to advance past the debating stage, where one party can filibuster, and to the voting stage, confusing I know, but point is if both sides aren’t cooperating here, then it will just be disaster after disaster as we saw yesterday on the Senate floor.
I think we all went into this week somewhat hopeful that progress would be made in terms of Democrat-Republican negotiations, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case, however all we can do at this point is remain hopeful that both sides move closer to a compromise so you all can get those stimulus checks as well as other proposed benefits such as the unemployment.
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.