GOP lawmakers in the Senate have been working for several weeks on a scaled back stimulus of around $500 billion that would hopefully entice Democrats back to the negotiating table. They are aiming for a vote on the a Covid-19 relief package early as next week.
This stimulus bill proposal, with encouragement from the White House, may still face resistance from some Republican senators who oppose any additional economic stimulus. And any move to actually consider the bill would need 60 votes in the Senate, and Democrats are expected to block it in the absence of a deal between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House.
President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on Tuesday that the Democratic proposal of a $2.2 trillion package isn’t realistic and that a $500 billion plan more targeted at areas of the economy still being hurt by the pandemic would be a good starting point for negotiations.
“If we can add from that and use that as a foundation, or at least pass that, knowing that we will largely agree on that targeted proposal coming from Senate Republicans, let’s go ahead,” Meadows said on CNBC. Once that’s passed, the principals could “continue to negotiate on those things that perhaps might separate the two parties,” he said.
Stimulus talks between the White House and congressional Democrats broke down on Aug. 7, and both sides remain a long way apart, as the last Democrat proposal was at $2.2 trillion. I don’t believe that will ever happen, at this point.