January 4, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Which stimulus plan if any. It's been months of haggllng, backing away from negotiations, getting the gang back together and still a stimulus deal has proven elusive for Capital Hill. It didn't help that the election and politics cam along. Hindsight is golden, and given that the Democrats made a proposal back in late March, maybe the Republicans should have stayed at the negotiations table instead of not even showing up. The forces of partisanship aren't going to make that any easier now. Republicans are dug in and very much aware that Democrats would prefer a deal now in an effort to give President elect Joe Biden a clean slate in January. The party to watch right now isn't Republicans, it's Democrats and just how much they are willing to give to ensure that Biden can start his Presidency with some kind of economic recovery bill already in the rearview mirror. Which stimulus plan if any.

If something is going to happen, the time is now for those negotiations to open up. The groups met before Thanksgiving in person and kept up over Zoom during the Thanksgiving break. They met again just after Thanksgiving. Keeping the development's in context, there is no guarantee that even their agreement will move the needle or win over leadership. However, their efforts are some of the only signs of progress we are seeing on Capital Hill right now, so they can't be completely ignored.

According to one side familiar wit the talks, members in the group have aimed to try to find the areas they could agree on, extending unemployment benefits, expanding school funding, providing money for more testing and vaccine development and distribution, and another round of the Payroll Protection Program. These are the ideas that members have rallied around for months, This is just eh first time Senators are putting pen to paper. The group had also been looking at ways to agree on state and local funding and liability.