STIMULUS TO EXPIRE DURING PANDEMIC WINTER
December 7, 2020 - Douglas Myser
Stimulus to expire during pandemic winter. A number of critical COVID-19 economic relief programs will expire at the end of the year, threatening the stability of the U.S. economy as the country enters an uncertain winter and 2021. After the CARES Act passed in March, stimulus gridlock has largely ensued, with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell, unable to agree on a path and amount to move the legislation forward. Both sides ultimately placing blame on each other, with no compromise in sight and the American people to suffer the consequences. From home evictions, to a resumption in student loan payments and defaults, and more business defaults, alot is at stake in the protracted negotiations. Stimulus to expire during pandemic winter.
A number of critical COVID-19 economic relief programs will expire at the end of the year, which could force millions off of unemployment insurance, push many small businesses to permanently close, and raise the specter of mass evictions. In march, during the early days of the pandemic, the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, easily passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support, providing a lifeline to recently laid off employees and businesses that were forced to close due to COVID related shutdowns.
However, this legislative comity quickly dissipated as the pandemic wore on. The $3 Trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, which followed the CARES Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in May. But was stymied in the Senate. While Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi championed the bill, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deemed it was too expensive. Stimulus gridlock has largely ensued ever since, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin working with Pelosi and McConnell for months with little progress. Pelosi wanted a $2.2 trillion package and McConnell wanted a smaller $580 billion package that didn't prioritize some spending ideas Pelosi said were must have's.