Stimulus Negotiations Hit a Wall

We were hoping to report some agreement that would lead to a new stimulus bill this morning. Sadly, we cannot. As expected, the parties remain at a stand-off like the North-going Zax and the South-going Zax. Like that Dr. Seuss reference to start your day off?

Biggest sticking points

Democrats do not want a short-term solution to unemployment insurance payments and eviction moratoriums. They want it once and for all in this bill. Republicans want about a third of what Democrats want and are noncommittal on the larger price tag.

Liability protection for businesses introduced by Senator John Cornyn is driving the biggest wedge.

“There is no chance, zero chance, America can get back to normal without the Cornyn liability protection, and no bill will be put on the Senate floor that does not include it,” McConnell said.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi immediately countered that there would be no deal on the broader package unless McConnell backed down.

There’s a pandemic

Meanwhile, virus infections are rising and deaths have surpassed 150,000. Taking the time to fight is costing lives and it is no laughing matter. The Zax could spend all day fighting without consequence to others. Congress cannot.

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