President Donald Trump has always talked in favor of a large coronavirus stimulus package. Even now with days left until the election, he is talking about a stimulus package bigger than what Democrats are proposing. However, there are some who believe that Trump is taking a massive political risk by pushing for a coronavirus stimulus package, including checks, so close to the November election.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: Is Trump taking a risk?
One such person who feels Trump is taking a "huge" political risk is Mick Mulvaney, who has been Trump’s acting chief of staff for over a year. Mulvaney believes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could now say that Trump "caved" for the deal.
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“Folks are starting to pay attention to the fact there could be huge political risks to the president at this time by doing a deal this late in the game," Mulvaney told Fox Business last week. Mulvaney hopes there is no deal now due to political and economic reasons.
"The press will play up that angle and it could actually hurt the president politically," he said.
Whether or not Trump is taking a risk isn’t clear for now, but what is clear is that Trump is continuing with the stimulus negotiations. The last known counteroffer from the White House is $1.8 trillion. Pelosi, however, is demanding a relief package of $2.2 trillion. Reports are that the White House has raised its offer to $1.9 trillion.
With an increased counteroffer, there are hopes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could reach an agreement this week. Even if they reach an agreement, a deal before the election is very unlikely, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a possible reason for this.
Last week, McConnell suggested that he wouldn’t bring a $1.8 trillion proposal onto the Senate floor for a vote. Then on Tuesday, McConnell said the Senate could consider a White-House backed proposal, but he reportedly told Senate Republicans that he has urged the White House not to go for a bigger stimulus bill before the election.
McConnell slammed for stalling relief efforts
Ever since his comments last week, McConnell has received flack from all around. Senator Elizabeth Warren, on Tuesday, slammed McConnell for stalling stimulus efforts. During a press conference, Warren said McConnell is "playing politics" and doesn’t intend to help people.
Warren also criticized McConnell’s “skinny" relief bills, saying they leave “people behind” and are not enough to meet the needs of Americans. Explaining who the bills leave behind, Warren says it leaves behind “every single person in this country who is worried about COVID-19."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also recently slammed McConnell, calling the vote on so-called skinny bills as a “stunt.” When Schumer was asked about the bill, he said he couldn’t comment because "we just don’t know what [McConnell] plans to do" with it.
However, Schumer did call the bill "inadequate, just up and down the line" and that it is a “sham.”