This is my stimulus update for Sunday, August 16.
Mark Meadows’ Phone Call With the Problem Solvers Caucus
Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s co-stimulus negotiator as far as the Republicans go, reportedly had a phone call with members of the House of Representatives’ bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus regarding the next stimulus relief bill.
This Problem Solvers Caucus is simply a group of 48 members of the House of Representatives, 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans — and that equality is intentional, by the way — whose goal is to reach bipartisan cooperation on legislation such as the next stimulus relief bill.
And these members of Congress within this Problem Solvers Caucus have pledged to vote together, all of them, for any piece of legislation that gets at least 75% support from the Problem Solvers Caucus as a whole, gets at least 51% support from the Republican members of the caucus, and gets at least 51% support from the Democratic members of the caucus.
Now, on the one hand, I think this Problem Solvers Caucus is a good thing, but on the other hand, I think it’s a bit silly that there is a group of “problem solvers” constituting a little over 10% of the members of the House of Representatives, I mean shouldn’t all of our elected officials, especially those in Congress be “problem solvers”?
Anyway, the Problem Solvers Caucus is trying to move stimulus along, and Mark Meadows had an hour-long call with some of the members of this caucus.
One member on the call said, “We had a productive, hour-long discussion about ways to help break the logjam between the parties, get negotiators back in the room, and help America in our response to the COVID crisis. We anticipate future meetings.”
This is a good sign to me because out of the four stimulus negotiators, it seemed that Mark Meadows tended to get the most frustrated with the stimulus negotiations, Pelosi and Schumer had mentioned that at one point Meadows slammed his fist on the table in frustration.
Some have even gone as far as to say that if Meadows wasn’t part of the negotiations that a deal would have been reached already because remember Mnuchin was negotiating the CARES Act, Meadows wasn’t.
We throw Meadows in the mix and it goes to crap. Is he the sole cause? Probably not, but could very well be a factor.
Pelosi’s Dear Colleague Letter About Stimulus
In other stimulus news, yesterday Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote a Dear Colleague letter regarding the next stimulus relief bill.
In this letter, she essentially criticized Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate for their delay in taking up stimulus matters, and she reiterated her support via the HEROES Act for additional state and local funding, school reopenings, child care, the postal service, and funding to fight COVID-19.
House Possibly Coming Back Early?
Speaking of Pelosi and the House of Representatives, you remember the whole Post Office drama that I told you about in my update this past Thursday? Well, as I’m sure that many of you have heard, things are really heating up on that front, and supposedly Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders are thinking about returning from their August recess as early as this week to consider legislation supporting the Postal Service.
And Chuck Schumer has called on Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, to bring back the Senate, ending their recess early, if the House is called back as well to address this Post Office concerns.
Why do I mention this? Well, it’s a crazy long shot, but theoretically if a stimulus deal is reached and Congress is back in town, we might see something happen sooner rather than later.
But frankly I wouldn’t count on it, but something to keep an eye on.