Republicans Don’t Give a Damn, Says Pelosi

This is my stimulus update for Thursday, August 6.

As I mentioned yesterday, Donald Trump is getting increasingly frustrated with the status of the stimulus negotiations and wants to take matters into his own hands.

Trump’s Stimulus Tweet This Morning

This morning he tweeted, “Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I’ve notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.”

We’ve heard about those first three before, but the student loan repayment options is a new one.

This continues to be a bad sign in my opinion. Actions speak louder than words, and the fact that the President is still pursuing executive action to make some stimulus measures happen indicates that the negotiations continue to go poorly.

Schumer: “A Bandaid”

Today Chuck Schumer characterized Republicans as simply wanting to put a BandAid on the issue.

Chuck Schumer: The Trump Administration and the Republicans have boldly mauled the body politic, the American economy, and American healthcare, and we believe the patient needs a major operation while Republicans want to apply just a bandaid. We won’t let them just pass the Bandaid, go home, and leave America bleeding.  That’s the difference. There are huge problems out there.  But so many Republicans don’t want to do anything.

Democrats Sticking to $600/Week

And then at this press conference Pelosi and Schumer were asked about the negotiations and particularly about the reports that Democrats had rejected a Republican offer for $400 weekly supercharged unemployment, here’s what they said.

Interviewer: Mark Meadows says that you are trillions of dollars apart. Is that an accurate assessment on the state of the negotiation? So did you guys reject your offer of $400 a week of unemployment insurance?

Nancy Pelosi: We have said that we’re going to have the $600. They have we have yet documented by Yale University, USCLA, and other authorities that this is necessary today. The University of Chicago put out what the cost would be to our economy if we don’t have that $600 in terms of purchasing power and the rest, so it’s not a question of we… again want to see a whole package, and they know that we want the $600. Do you want to speak to that?

Chuck Schumer: I mean, there are a couple of points here. One, yeah, the $600 has kept by economic estimates, at least a million and probably many more people out of poverty. out of poverty. We’re trying to lift people out of poverty, it’s done it. Second, the number one, probably mode of engine that the economy isn’t doing worse is consumer spending. One of the biggest incentives for consumer spending, additives to consumer spending is the unemployment but third, you change the rules, it will take weeks in some states and months in most states before new unemployment can be added and that will hurt the economy dramatically. They say all these people are staying home because they get more money than if they go to work. That is not the American people I know, they want to work. And if they have a job or offered a job and with the benefits and with the dignity of work, they take it. But there’s 11, you know, there’s.. it’s 11% unemployment. Not everyone who wants to work can get to work. So it’s not that they’re staying home, because they’re lazy. I mean, that’s a very harsh view of American workers. They’re staying home because they don’t have a job.

Nancy Pelosi: Yeah, here’s the thing. When they come to the table and are like, $600, how could it be? They’re just demonstrating their condescension to America’s working families.

So it sounds here like the Democrats are sticking hard and fast to the $600 weekly supercharged unemployment. I don’t think that’s going to happen, even if by some miracle Mnuchin and Meadows agree to it and Trump somehow agrees to it, despite these folks having said constantly over and over that the $600 per week is a disincentive to work, they would have to do a huge about face, which I don’t think is likely at all, even if the top G.O.P. agrees to it, there’s a snowball’s chance in heck that the rank-and-file Republican senators would agree to a bill that includes extending the $600 weekly FPUC, heck I doubt many would even go for $400 or $200, that’s just where many in the G.O.P. are right now, I’m sorry, but that’s reality.

“Deal Will Get Done”

McConnell and Pelosi both said today that they think a deal will get done eventually, McConnell said he thinks it will get done in the near future, but what that means or when that means is anybody’s guess.

Republicans Don’t Give a Damn

And here’s how Pelosi characterized Republicans today on Jim Cramer’s show:

Jim Cramer: Can we give a huge chunk of money to the people who are disenfranchised, to minorities who want so badly to stay in business and can?

Nancy Pelosi: Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn for what you’ve just described.

Not exactly the words you’d expect to hear from someone who is close to a deal with her republican counterpart.

High Hopes, Low Results

I’m very discouraged here because on Saturday, this past Saturday, all the negotiators said that progress had been made, and I think we all went into this first week of August hopeful that a deal would be struck by the end of the week.

Yet here we are with no deal and Trump continuing to seek legal justification to take matters into his own hands.

Senate Schedule

Negotiations continue for the tenth day today, and here’s what’s going on with the Senate.

We know they have a four-week August recess scheduled, we’ve known that and have talked about that for some time.  Well, today Mitch McConnell said that because a stimulus deal has not been reached, the Senate will technically be in session next week but that senators can go home and simply return when a stimulus deal has been reached.

He said: “I will not be adjourning the Senate for our August recess today as has been previously scheduled. I’ve told Republican senators they’ll have a 24-hour notice before a vote, but the Senate will be convening on Monday and I’ll be right here in Washington.”

Same thing is going on with the House which has been on recess since last week.

Jobless Claims Data

The number of unemployment claims filed last week was 1,186,000, not that nearly 1.2 million people filing for jobless benefits is a good thing, but that number is the lowest it’s been since March 14, which was before the widespread shutdowns.

The unemployment data this week represents a downtick and unemployment claim for reversing a trend of an uptick the past few weeks.


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