Americans from all over are hoping that second stimulus checks go out soon, but lawmakers in Washington D.C. are still hung up in negotiations over the next stimulus bill. While there are many reasons why a new bill been agreed upon yet, Vox is reporting why Republicans, specifically, are taking so long to approve another payment. The main reason they are taking their time is due to their concerns over the national debt.
"The White House is trying to solve bad polling by agreeing to indefensibly bad debt," said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska. "This proposal is not targeted to fix precise problems — it's about Democrats and Trumpers competing to outspend each other." Vox further noted that both GOP Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Ted Cruz (TX) are concerned about this as well, but that it has led to some tensions within the party. "It's not a winning hand that Republicans are trying to play here," a Democratic operative said. "I think it's only made matters complicated that they're at war with their own caucus."
Congress' stimulus bill must:
—Extend $600/week in unemployment benefits
—Provide rent relief & extend eviction moratoriums
—Shore up state & local budgets
—Prioritize public health & economic wellbeing over the national debt
None of this should be controversial. pic.twitter.com/HJsMklXFFs— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 29, 2020
Notably, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has stated that national debt concerns are certainly valid, but added that "this is not the time to act on those concerns." Republican pollster Neil Newhouse spoke to Vox about the GOP's worry over the national debt. "The concerns about adding to the deficit are far outweighed by the health concerns and economic concerns of Americans due to coronavirus," he said. "The challenge for Republican candidates seeking reelection is not the Republican base; it's independents, it's moderates, it's swing voters and the furthest thing from their minds is running up the deficit."
At this point, negotiations over the next stimulus bill have come down to being between Democrat leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Trump administration officials Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. While "no agreement" has been made yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is prepared to support whatever agreement is reached between the Democrats and the White House.