Republicans Tell Economists, Voters to Get Bent on Stimulus

UPDATE #2: The stock market reacts accordingly.


UPDATE: No relief for you!

It has been nearly five months since the House of Representatives passed the “HEROES Act” to provide additional relief for Americans still struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. No further relief has been made available to Americans, however, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus have persistently refused to entertain any sort of compromise on the matter.

We’ve noted before in this space the absurdity of claims from McConnell and other Republicans that it is somehow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s fault that the Senate can’t get anything done. It is looking even less likely that the Senate will make any movement on another coronavirus relief package now that a COVID-19 outbreak has sickened at least three GOP Senators. As POLITICO reported on Saturday:

Three Republican senators announced positive coronavirus diagnoses in the past 24 hours, including one, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, on Saturday morning. Three more GOP senators have said they are quarantining after potential exposure to the virus, which significantly narrows the GOP 53-member majority.

The Senate had been scheduled to come back to Washington on Monday to begin advancing other judicial nominees, but McConnell has been forced to recalibrate those plans as the pandemic hit his caucus.

While the Senate won’t be back in Washington D.C. for regular business, McConnell and leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee have promised to plow ahead with the confirmation process for President Trump’s newest Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. But as The Hill newspaper reports, McConnell and friends are doing the exact opposite of what the American people would prefer:

An overwhelming majority of voters believe the Senate should prioritize coronavirus relief over confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds. [Pols emphasis]

Seventy-four percent of registered voters in the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 survey said the Senate should first pass a new COVID-19 relief bill…

…Eighty-eight percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans were in favor of the Senate passing another stimulus package first.

Via CNBC (10/6/20)

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is pleading with lawmakers to do something big with another stimulus bill in order to stave off economic disaster. As The New York Times reports:

Powell delivered a message to his fellow policymakers on Tuesday: Faced with a once-in-a-century pandemic that has inflicted economic pain on millions of households, go big.

“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Mr. Powell said in remarks prepared for virtual delivery before the National Association for Business Economics.

“Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth,” he said. “By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller.”

While the unemployment rate has fallen more rapidly than many economists expected, dropping to 7.9 percent in September, millions of Americans remain unemployed as the coronavirus pandemic keeps many service industries operating below capacity. Consumer spending is holding up, but Mr. Powell underlined — as he has before — that the economy’s resilience owes substantially to strong government support for households and businesses. [Pols emphasis]

Economic experts want the U.S. Senate to MOVE on another coronavirus stimulus bill. Polling suggests that 3 out of 4 Americans want the U.S. Senate to MOVE on another coronavirus stimulus bill. Senate Republicans, however, are really only interested in confirming another SCOTUS nominee.

If Democrats are able to flip the U.S. Senate in November, there won’t be any confusion about why Republicans lost their majority.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Biden may want to spend some time talking about what a real leader does during an economic crisis. Just a suggestion.

  2. harrydoby says:

    One of the articles in today’s Bulwark discusses the potential for Trump’s judgement, such as it is, could be further affected by the drugs he’s taking.

    One of the drugs President Trump is currently taking is Dexamethasone. DXM is a corticosteroid, meaning that it replaces a hormone produced by the adrenal gland.

    Like almost all drugs, DXM has potential side effects. All of them are minor. One of these minor side effects is mania.

    Symptoms of hypomania, mania, depression, and psychosis occur during corticosteroid therapy as do cognitive changes, particularly deficits in verbal or declarative memory. Psychiatric symptoms appear to be dose-dependent and generally occur during the first few weeks of therapy. Patients who must remain on corticosteroids may benefit from pharmacotherapeutic approaches, such as lithium and the new antipsychotic medications.

    Of course, it is also plausible that this is Trump’s natural state, and his idea that tanking the economy is just the punishment we deserve if we fail to re-elect him as President-for-Life.

  3. bullshit! says:

    Is he daft? Yes, he is daft. And on fucking steroids. Daft on steroids.

    I don't know about you all but I needed the money. So did Colorado. This sucks.

  4. HeavyG says:

    If there was ever a perfect time of year for additional stimulus (PPP, direct payments, unenjoyment insurance) this was it.  Stimulate economy during holidays with a larger than normal multiplier, suppress foreclosures and evictions, and provide fiscal and mental hope for a long fall/winter.  And oh yeah, right before an election.  

    But 20-30 years of conservative judicial rule is worth all of it I guess.  The R strategy is mind boggling, but not at all surprising.  Dems to the rescue, again.  


  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    Comment deleted

  6. Early Worm says:

    Is there anything remotely resembling a "strategy" here other than hostage-taking? In effect, isn't Trump just saying: Choice A) reelect me and the Repub Senate and we will start to govern again after the election, or choice B) vote us out and we will let it all burn until inauguration day.

  7. itlduso says:

    A president's most potent perk of incumbency is to spend recklessly and buy off every conceivable special interest.  The GOP will scream like a stuck pig if a Democratic president would dare to deficit spend.  Not so much when it's done by a GOP president.

    Today, we are on a spending spree like never before resulting in something like a 3.3 Trillion annual deficit.  The Dems are on board to spend more along with many GOPs.  By shit canning additional stimulus spending right before an election, Trump has once again proven to be the stupidest politician in history. 

    Makes me even more worried about what those steroids are doing to his addled brain.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Uh not a spending spree to keep the entire economy from collapsing.  It was necessary deficit spending to help people suddenly not working because of a black swan event.  Necessary vs spree.  Big difference in motivation and outcome.

    • ParkHill says:

      When interest rates are ZERO, debt does not matter at all. It is like the financial markets are screaming: "We have gazillions of dollars and no place to invest it!."

      Investing in any sector (infrastructure, renewables, etc) that creates jobs or feeds income to the lower 50% means that individuals and the wisdom of the market place will start spending again.

      If you want to raise taxes, there are sectors of the economy that are not suffering in the least: most corporations, high-income individuals, capital gains, wealth taxes, ummm, basically all the beneficiaries of the Republican tax breaks. It's funny how they pocketed the tax savings, instead of opening the trickle-down taps.


      • Duke Cox says:

        The Lords of the American Markets, the Superrich, the Titans of Industry and Finance…we all know who they are …are waging a war against minimum wage. When they have broken the backs of enlightened cities and states, Americas’ royalty may allow some crumbs to fall from the tray.

        But, I hope you are not TOO hungry.

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