After the Senate came up with their version of the stimulus checks package earlier this week, many would have expected the final package to be announced rather quickly. However, it does not appear that we will have the next stimulus package soon. The delay in coronavirus stimulus checks is not likely due to opposition from Democrats, but because of the differences within the Republican party itself.
Coronavirus stimulus checks not anytime soon? Republicans debate
The differences within the Republicans are reportedly so deep that half of them are expected to vote "no" on the stimulus package, as per Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Speaking to Fox News, Graham said “half of the Republicans are going to vote 'no' on any more aid. That’s just a fact.”
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Graham's comments indicate that many Republicans are not happy with the next stimulus proposal. Such opposition could create issues for the next stimulus package. It is not exactly clear why so many Republicans may oppose the bill.
A Forbes report, however, says that each representative and senator may have their own reason for not supporting or opposing the next stimulus package. These reasons could be the scenario in their home state and districts, or the election race.
Some Republicans are also worried about the rising spending. For instance, fiscal conservatives are worried about increased spending due to the stimulus checks and federal unemployment benefits.
Another group of conservatives are focusing on limiting federal spending, arguing trillions of dollars have already been spent via the first stimulus package. Some also believe that spending more money won’t help address the issues.
Also, a few Republicans argue that states do not have enough flexibility to spend their existing federal funding, notes a Forbes report. A point to note is that the GOP’s HEALS Act does not allot funds to states and localities. On the other hand, the Democrats-backed HEROES Act proposes $1 trillion of aid for states and cities.
What options does McConnell have?
The following are comments from a couple Republicans opposing the coronavirus stimulus checks package:
“I’m not only a ‘no.’ I’m a hell no,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
“I don’t want to see any new authorization of money,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Considering such opposition, it would be wise not to expect the coronavirus stimulus package anytime soon.
Republicans have a marginal majority in the Senate with 53 seats. This means, Senate Majority Leader McConnell would need the support of Democrats to get the final bill on the President’s desk.
McConnell also has a few more options to win approval for the bill in the Senate. These include gathering support for the HEALS Act within his party, making changes to the HEALS Act to win over conservatives or start with a new stimulus package.
Whatever way McConnell chooses, we can only hope that it helps to speed up the approval process of the much-needed coronavirus stimulus checks and aid package.