On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election
Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL—McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he expects Congress to move another coronavirus relief package “right at the beginning” of 2021, breaking from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told reporters Thursday she wants to get a deal in the lame-duck session.
- “We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion Nancy Pelosi package. I think that’ll be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year,” McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday.
- “We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” the GOP leader said.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton has more here.
Differing timelines: McConnell offered a slower timeline than other lawmakers, who expect a deal to move after the election but before the end of the year or before the end of President Trump’s first term in January.
- Pelosi told reporters Thursday of her expectation of reaching an agreement with the Trump administration in the lame-duck session.
- Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) also said this week that he thought a coronavirus relief deal would move in November or December.
- And Trump predicted earlier this week that Congress would approve a big package right after Election Day, signaling his expectation that he’ll win a second term on Nov. 3.
With no deal imminent, lawmakers in both parties see a pact as more likely in the lame-duck session.
“The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out, but I think either way we’ll do something. The question is how much,” Thune told The Hill.
Senate lawmakers and aides say McConnell (R-Ky.) and Pelosi, both longtime members of the Senate and House appropriations committees, have strong incentive to get a coronavirus relief deal done in the lame-duck session because it will make it easier to put together a full-year annual appropriations package before Christmas. See why here.
LEADING THE DAY
Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez offer bill to create national public banking system: Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) on Friday introduced a bill to create a federally chartered and supported public banking system.
- Called the Public Banking Act, the bill would develop a system through which the Federal Reserve System and Treasury Department would recognize, offer grants and open credit facilities for nonprofit banks.
- These banks would be intended to compete with the commercial banking industry and would be barred from charging fees on checking or savings accounts, requiring minimum balances and levying interest rates of more than 15 percent.
Read a breakdown of the plan here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Americans are making another run on grocery stores, stockpiling essential goods like they did when the pandemic began, but this time with the added anxiety of a volatile election.
- Washington Post: “West Virginia’s surprising boom, and bust, tells the story of Trump’s promise to help the ‘forgotten man’”
- Politico: “Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday chided Wall Street executives for backing former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, warning that they would suffer with Democrats in control.”
- Yahoo Finance: “The Federal Reserve on Friday lowered the minimum loan size on its loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, in an effort to drive higher uptake of its Main Street Lending Program.”