President-elect Joe Biden speaks as he announces members of the business and jobs team at his interim headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Jan. 8, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President-elect Joe Biden is slated to unveil his long-awaited stimulus plan on Thursday. Those familiar with the legislation suggest that the transition team hopes to gain bipartisan support for the law in Congress.
The proposal is expected to include several Democratic priorities, including topping up recently approved direct payments of $ 600 to most Americans, expanding increased unemployment insurance, and helping state and local governments.
Although some had initially wondered whether Biden would try to bundle the incentive from Congress with a special budget rule that could only be made possible by democratic votes, one person familiar with the deliberations of the transition team confirmed that the president-elect was confirmed interested in drumming is support from both parties.
The offer to help the Republicans has led some to wonder whether Thursday’s bill will be at or below the “trillion dollars” Biden promised last week.
Republicans, wary of big spending given last month’s $ 900 billion stimulus, might be willing to join Biden’s plans if the president-elect puts the bill in stages.
“I think [the stimulus bill] will focus on a new round [direct payments]but less than $ 2,000, “which some Congressmen are asking,” said Tom Block, Washington policy analyst with Fundstrat Global Advisors, in an email. “Hopefully some Republicans will get involved [lawmakers] can avoid a Republican Senate filibuster. “
To avoid a filibuster, the bill would require 60 votes in the Senate.
For his part, Block expects Thursday’s bill to include a $ 300 increase in unemployment benefits, an extension of the eviction moratorium, and “hundreds of billions” of government aid.
A spokesman for Biden’s transition team declined to comment on the story.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R), D-Calif., And Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on November 6, 2020.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
The president-elect has been saying for months that his top priority will be providing Covid-19 aid and helping Americans through recent economic troubles when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.
Friday’s job report, which found employers cut 140,000 jobs last month, added to the urgency, despite the fact that those losses arose over $ 900 billion before the law went into effect in December. Covid-19 has killed more than 380,000 Americans, according to CNBC’s analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., who will soon be the chamber’s majority leader, reiterated this need for speed in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday.
“As you know from our work at the end of the last congress, the task of COVID emergency aid is far from over,” wrote Schumer. “As soon as the new Senate is organized and Vice President [Kamala] Harris has been sworn in, we will get to work immediately to achieve this goal. “
While a handful of Republicans, like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, rejected last month’s $ 900 billion bill as wasteful, Biden’s bipartisan aspirations may not be out of reach for Trump on Capitol Hill in January 6.
The unrest, which resulted in at least five deaths, has sparked a wave of bipartisanism in the Capitol and has resulted in President Donald Trump being removed from both sides of the political aisle.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) asks Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Senate’s 2021 budget at the Dirksen Senate Office building in Washington, DC on July 30, 2020.
Greg Nash | Pool | Reuters
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Said in a letter he sent to the president-elect Thursday that he would be in favor of $ 2,000 stimulus checks and otherwise be open to discussion with his Democratic counterparts.
“While I share the concern of many of my colleagues about the long-term impact of this additional spending, we simply cannot ignore the fact that millions of working-class families across the country are still in dire need of help,” wrote Rubio.
“It would send a strong message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to pass laws to you to limit payments for the direct economic impact to Americans struggling with the pandemic to increase from $ 600 to $ 2,000, “added the Republican.
Biden’s interest in getting bipartisan support for his stimulus proposal could also be a bona fide effort to foster the collaboration that will necessarily take place in a Senate split between 50 and 50 after two runoff elections in Georgia and two extra seats for the Democrats admits in the chamber.
Harris will have the casting vote in the new Senate.
The president-elect can also hope the cooperative stance will encourage Senate lawmakers to separate haggling over Covid-19 relief laws from Trump’s potential impeachment and more routine process of confirming cabinet candidates.