No Deal for House and Senate; Help Could Still Come

On Thursday, the House and Senate decided to go home. This marked an end of face to face talks on the next coronavirus relief bill and leaves over 20 million unemployed Americans in the lurch.

Today the President tweeted and appeared to nudge the Democrats back to the negotiating table with some sweeteners. He said that he was ready to give money to state and local governments for essential services, replenish the PPP small business program, and send out stimulus checks. So, maybe these could be a needle mover in getting talks restarted.

As the talks broke up the Democrats insisted on a minimum package of $2TN while the White House said no more than $1TN. Interestingly enough, the President’s tweets today were silent on key Democratic demands of money to help run the election and funds for the USPS.

With no talks, there are 3 main dates to watch: September 4th which is when the August jobs numbers are announced. September 8th which is when the Senate returns to DC. And, September 30th which is the end of the fiscal year and when Congress needs to act in order to avoid a government shutdown.

In the coming days I see several things worth paying close attention to: new programs and social media highlighting hardships faced by the unemployed, poll numbers in key Senate races, weekly and monthly jobs numbers, and of course the spread or decline in the virus.

There is some talk in DC of combining a relief package with the Continuing Resolution (CR) that will be required to keep the government running past October 1 and the beginning of the new fiscal year. The CR is a “must pass” bill and if Congress doesn’t act in the next few weeks, it may be the vehicle for a final coronavirus relief package.

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