With the stock market in a downward spiral and the coronavirus pandemic still in full swing, President Donal Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are facing defeat in the ongoing standoff with Democrats in the economic relief package negotiations. Now, Sen. Mitch McConnell is scrambling to save the GOP senate majority as voters are fleeing the Trump’s chaotic reality show.
McConnell is scrambling to get 51 Republican votes on the next round of coronavirus relief legislation put pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to soften their demands. But some Republicans are they could risk their reelection chances by siding with Trump and McConnell.
“Trump needs a package just because the stock market has been declining. There is a possibility that COVID infections will increase in the fall and we know the economy is a big variable in how people vote,” said Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, according to The Hill.
“Republicans want to protect the Senate and protect the presidency and they’re going to need a deal,” he said.
In the past week, the stock markets suffered their worst one-day drops since the coronavirus first froze the U.S. economy in March. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 dropped 632 points and 95 points, respectively — more than 2 percent each — while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 465 points, or 4.11 percent.
Another relief package passed by Congress, especially one as large as what Pelosi and Schumer want, is expected to give another boost to the markets.
One Republican senator who wants a larger relief bill said the market turmoil “ought to” put pressure on the White House and colleagues to agree to more federal aid.
But the lawmaker, who requested anonymity to discuss Trump’s motives, conceded “I’m having trouble mapping out a scenario one way or another.”
Pelosi on Tuesday seized on calls by Fed officials for more fiscal stimulus from Congress as well as divisions among Republicans to press her growing leverage.
“The chairman of the Fed and other Fed leaders around the country have said clearly that we need a stimulus, that we need a boost,” she noted in an interview with Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.”
At the same time, she slammed McConnell’s revised relief bill, which is estimated to cost around a half-trillion dollars, as “pathetic.” She pointed out it is roughly “half of what Secretary Mnuchin has proposed.”
“They are not even in agreement. They are in disarray,” she said of Republicans.
The Senate Republican bill needs 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster and pass.