STIMULUS PACKAGE: McCONNELL UNDER PRESSURE

December 7, 2020

STIMULUS PACKAGE: McCONNELL UNDER PRESSURE

Earlier this week, we wrote about a potential new stimulus package put together by a group of bipartisan lawmakers. The value of the package came in at $908 billion. While it has received the approval of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as the President-elect. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has balked at the proposal. McConnell is pushing to pass a $550 billion package put together by Republicans; but he faces pressure to go with a larger deal.

An unemployment report released by the Labor Department this past Friday showed some bleak numbers. In short, November was the slowest month of job growth since spring; which means that more and more businesses and families will be reaching breaking point sooner rather than later. The latest report has put pressure on McConnell to get on board with the $908 billion proposal put forward earlier in the week. However, it is worth noting that there is no stimulus check for individual Americans in that proposal.

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Stimulus Package: A Look Inside the Numbers

In the latest political news, the November jobs report showed that the unemployment rate moved from 6.9% to 6.7%. The problem there was that the shift came from roughly 400,000 people leaving the labor force. The number of people listed as long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) jumped to 3.9 million. To put that in perspective; it means that more than 36% of the people listed as unemployed are in the long-term category.

When looking at the contents of the $908 billion bipartisan proposal, it would appear that the sticking point for McConnell seems to be the money slated to state and local governments. McConnell has previously said he would not support and deal that has those provisions in place. There are, though, a few Republican Senators; including Chuck Grassley, Marco Rubio, and more, who are seemingly keen on supporting the new package.

The benefits that still remain on the most recent stimulus package will expire at the end of December, which means that time is running out for a deal to get done. President-elect Biden has expressed confidence that a deal will be done before time runs out, but unless McConnell gets on board, we are looking at a stalemate.

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