Democrats released their stimulus package on Tuesday. The stimulus package titled the ‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions’ or HEROES Act is expected to pass the House. The vote is likely to take place on Friday.
(Published on SCRIBD by Brandon Conradis)
The size of the stimulus package from the Democrats is likely going to raise eyebrows in the GOP-controlled Senate. At $3 trillion, HEROES would be the most expensive piece of legislation ever drafted in Congress. It easily beats the CARES Act passed in March which cost $2 trillion.
There were rumours about Democrats presenting a bold plan earlier. The size of the bill is most likely to scare away many Senate Republicans. While there is a faction in the GOP that wants more relief given to states and citizens, the sheer size of HEROES puts the Democrats and the Republicans on a collision course.
Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader in the Senate, is unlikely to allow the legislation to get through the Senate. While the Senator from Kentucky is not completely against the idea of additional relief, he has expressed a desire to tread cautiously. It is important to remember that the issue of another stimulus plan is dividing the GOP as well. Senator Rick Scott blocked legislation from a member of his own party. The legislation didn’t even ask for any new money and allowed states greater flexibility to use the money already given to them.
Trump Could Play a Role in Stimulus Package Drafted by Democrats
The fiscal conservatism of Mitch McConnell does not run in President Trump. Unlike a typical Republican, the president is economically liberal. He was the one who proposed a massive new infrastructure bill right after the passage of CARES in March. His idea didn’t get much traction from Mitch McConnell and other conservatives in the Senate.
However, some GOP senators could have second thoughts about staying in line with fiscal conservatism at this hour.
The initial GOP estimation that red states’ economies won’t be impacted hard by COVID-19 is falling flat. Small governments and states are faltering as revenues have dried up. Many GOP senators face tough reelection campaigns in November. They might find it better to vote with the Democrats on the stimulus package. Political headwinds right now are trending towards more relief rather than austerity. After Congress bailed out big corporations and industries in CARES yet again, the public wants more than just $1200.
The key to GOP senators flipping could come from the President itself. Trump realizes the political benefit of giving away relief in a troubled time. If the White House shows a sign of support for the new HEROES stimulus package from the Democrats, many GOP senators could buck party orthodoxy.
However, this scenario looks unlikely right now. While the Democrats should get the bill through on Friday, the challenge in the Senate looks like a bridge too far.
(Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell)