We continue to see the follow-up CARES Act stimulus legislation batted back and forth like a tennis ball.
In May, House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus package that Senate Republicans rejected as too big. Earlier this month House Democrats barely passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that Republicans responded was too generous to states and municipalities.
The Trump Administration proposed a $1.6 trillion stimulus package which the Democrats rejected. The administration came back with a $1.8 trillion proposal. The lead negotiator for the administration, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, continues to communicate with House Speaker Pelosi. The president himself has urged negotiators to “Go Big!”
But we can’t forget about Senate Republicans. Any consideration of a stimulus package was sidelined during the hearings over the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Fiscally conservative Senate Republicans remain suspicious of the size and scope of the proposed stimulus packages. Additionally, Major Leader McConnell has put a high priority on including liability limitations in the package, while House Democrats are pressing to reinstate the enhanced federal unemployment insurance at $600 per week through January.
The good news is that all proposals have included support for higher education at levels significantly higher than the CARES Act.
The bad news: the politics around the approaching elections work against a resolution before November 3.