The White House and House Democrts have been, for months, trying to reach an agreement to be able to pass a new relief bill to help Americans who are still struggling to make ends meet. How likely is this to happen now that the Senate majority could change in January?
Though talks over a new stimulus package, and a second stimulus check, could not strike a deal before November 3, post-election, they could get shaken up by new political leadership at the White House and in the Senate. Read on to learn how new developments on Capitol Hill could already be influencing those talks.
While Trump plans to contest the election, and Democrats have maintained the House majority, two looming runoff Senate races in Georgia mean that we will have to wait until January to know which party will control the chamber.
By the inauguration, Democrats could have picked up two Senate seats in the Georgia runoff elections to create a 50-50 split, giving them control of the Senate with Kamala Harris as vice president casting tie-breaking votes. But, if Republicans win at least one of Georgia's seats they'll likely keep control of the Senate.
According to CNBC, the fact that the Senate majority depends on Georgia’s vote could be a big factor in how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decides to approach stimulus talks now.
“If McConnell thinks that ‘I can win those two runoffs in Georgia by getting a bill,’ he’ll do it. And if he thinks he can win those two runoffs in Georgia by not getting a bill, he’ll do that,” explained Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
McConnell has been supporting a smaller, more targeted coronavirus stimulus bill than what House Democrats have proposed, but, so far, he has failed to get the necessary support it needs in the Senate.
“Hopefully we can get past the impasse we’ve had now for four or five months and get serious about doing something that’s appropriate,” McConnell said last week.
It remains to be seen what McConnel believes could get Republicans closer to winning the seats in Georgia, and how much he is willing to compromise if a new relief bill is the answer to that question.