Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled he wants another economic relief package passed in the next two months.
But with Republicans poised to retain control of the Senate, Democrats lack leverage to demand approval of their multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill, which McConnell opposes.
“We need another rescue package,” the Kentucky senator said Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Hopefully the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election. We need to do it, and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.”
Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads for months over the next package, with Democrats pushing for one that includes a bailout of state and local governments. New York officials have said they need about $50 billion, while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is seeking $12 billion and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wants $3 billion.
McConnell has thrown his support behind more funding for schools, hospitals and small businesses. But Republicans have rejected the Democratic proposal championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and argue that the election results, while not final, will change the dynamics in the House and Senate.
“It’s a much different place,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Journal. “Nancy Pelosi has a weaker hand. The Democratic members who lost want to vote for something more reasonable, not her $3 trillion bill.”
Senate Republicans, wary of the nation’s ballooning budget deficit, have proposed a measure one-sixth that size. The negotiations have implications for the real estate industry, as congressional aid packages have been credited with providing crucial support for the economy throughout the pandemic.
[WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan