Everyone is eagerly waiting for an answer to the million-dollar question: when will the next stimulus package arrive? President-elect Joe Biden has now come up with an answer to that. According to Biden, the coronavirus stimulus package and checks will arrive when Donald Trump leaves the White House.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: Biden says fear of retribution delaying package
Speaking to frontline workers via a virtual discussion, on Wednesday, Biden said he believes the Republicans would move ahead with the stimulus package once there is no fear of “retribution from the president.” Biden assured that the next package would include stimulus checks and that it would be a priority for him when he takes office in January.
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“Hopefully, when he’s gone, they will be more willing to do what they know should be done, has to be done, in order to save the communities they live in,” Biden said.
Even though Trump has lost the election, he still retains a stranglehold on the Republican Party. Trump supporters have helped many Republicans to retain their seats. Thus, such lawmakers may not want to go against Trump, potentially discouraging their electoral base.
Lawmakers dragging out stimulus negotiations
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke against including aid to states and local government in the stimulus bill. McConnell, who is against a massive stimulus package, reiterated Trump’s words that federal aid to states and local governments would serve as a bailout for the badly run Democrat states.
“Democrats still want coronavirus relief for the entire country held hostage over a massive slush fund for their own use,” McConnell said.
Biden, however, favored the aid to state and local governments to be part of the next stimulus package. In fact, Biden has called on Congress to approve the HEROES Act in the lame-duck session. The House of Representatives passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act in May, but the updated version of the bill cost $2.2 trillion.
“Right now, Congress should come together and pass a COVID relief package like the HEROES Act,” Biden said Monday.
McConnell has also turned down calls for the HEREOS Act, calling it “unserious.”
"[They] are still looking at something dramatically larger," McConnell said Thursday. "That's not a place I think we're willing to go."
The aid to state and local governments and cost of the bill were the issues when the negotiations started in July. The issues are the same now as well. The attitude of the lawmakers is frustrating to Americans as coronavirus cases rise across the U.S.
Recently, JP Morgan Chase & Co chief executive Jamie Dimon slammed the lawmakers for dragging on the stimulus negotiations.
"This is childish behaviour on the part of our politicians," Dimon told a New York Times conference. "Just get it done."