The Next COVID Stimulus Bill Could Cost Trillions of Dollars or Might Not Happen at All
Trying to sort through the latest developments in the negotiations over another COVID-19 stimulus bill feels a little bit like that childhood logic puzzle in which a farmer is trying to transport a goose, a bag of corn, and a fox across a river in a small boat.
House Democrats have already passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill that’s essentially a grab-bag of progressive agenda items, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) absolutely refuses to go along with a stripped-down stimulus bill being pushed by Senate Republicans. Meanwhile, cunning-as-a-fox Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell (R–Ky.) says his members will return to the nation’s capital later this week to vote on a $500 billion emergency spending plan. Neither congressional proposal is a perfect fit with the $1.8 trillion package the White House officials are urging Congress to pass in order to goose the economy before the presidential election.
And there’s one more complication that you didn’t hear about as a kid: a hippopotamus is loose in the middle of the river.
At any moment, it might surface and destroy whatever happens to be in the boat right now: Either by announcing that he’s calling off all negotiations until after the election, as President Donald Trump did last week, or by undermining his own team’s official position by urging Congress to “go big or go home,” as President Donald Trump did on Tuesday.
For the moment, all parties involved seem more concerned with blaming someone else for why no one is getting across the river. Pelosi says inconsistent signals from the White House and Republicans’ unwillingness to bail out states and cities are holding up the process.
“This weekend, the Trump administration issued a proposal that amounted to one step forward, two steps back,” Pelosi said in an open letter to her House colle
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