Stimulus deal signed by President Trump before election increasingly unlikely as time runs out
Hopes for a stimulus agreement before the elections are quickly fading.
While spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are "almost there" on a package valued at between $ 1.9 trillion and $ 2.2 trillion, it may be too late for one Bill all government circles previously runs through November 3rd, experts said.
"If an agreement is reached, I still think the likely outcome is that we won't have any words on paper passing through the house," said Mark Harkins, former Congressional Staff and Senior Fellow at the Government Affairs Institute in Georgetown, versus Yahoo Money. "If we have words on paper that have passed through the house, there is a very good chance that McConnell will not bring it up."
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, holds her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 22, 2020. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP)
Three months into the negotiations, Pelosi and Mnuchin have come closer on the top line of the deal, but important disagreements persist. The House and Senate committee chairs are now involved, trying to resolve differences over funding and language.
"We put pen on paper, write the bill and hope that we can resolve some of the objections," Pelosi told MSNBC on Friday.
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But with so little time left, Harkins says the bill can no longer be sent to the House and Senate for amendment.
"The staff has to arrange everything in advance," he said. "You're going to want a final bill that has been agreed in advance that goes through one body, goes to the other body, and then goes."
Then the House Rules Committee must make the legislation, which must be available to legislators for 72 hours to review before they can vote on it. That said, in the best case scenario, the bill could hit the floor of the house on October 27 at the earliest.
"Unless he thinks 26 Republicans will vote"
While the legislation would likely pass the democratically controlled house, the next hurdle would be putting it to a vote in the Senate. It would take 60 votes to pass the Senate, which means at least 13 Republican senators would have to vote for the legislation. But more may be needed for the bill to be considered before the election, Harkins said.
"This only happens if McConnell believes at least half of his caucus will vote for it," he said. "If he doesn't think there are 26 Republicans going to vote for it, he won't even put it to the vote."
US President Donald Trump closes his pen after signing the Paycheck Protection Program and the Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, USA, on April 24, 2020. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
McConnell agreed to vote on two parties in the Senate - despite opposition from his party - but did not say whether it would be before or after the election.
"If a presidential-sponsored bill ever releases the house, we'll bring it to the ground," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
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If all of this happens, the legislation cannot be put to the vote in the Senate until October 29th, but more likely on October 30th as it is likely to be subject to a filibuster who will add another 30 hours to the process.
If there is a second filibuster, the final Senate vote may be postponed to Saturday, October 31st or Sunday, November 1st.
Many Republican senators have raised concerns about the price of the potential deal and raised questions about whether enough Republican senators would support it.
"It's about the President of the United States having a discussion," Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. "It is up to him to deliver what can happen on the Senate side."
At least 44 states have disbursed all funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster / Yahoo Finance)
"The Monday before the election?"
Even if the bill passes the Senate and gets 60 votes, it will be served on the White House between October 31 and November 2, which may be too late for the president to sign it before the election.
"The Monday before the election?" Said Harkins. "Who is going to promote it?"
The president has spoken loudly about supporting a stimulus agreement, even saying it would go beyond the Democrats' $ 2.2 trillion proposal.
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But he also weighed a tweet on Wednesday saying he saw no way Democrats "will be ready to do what's right for our great American workers," and that they are too focused on state and local funding Governments focus.
The President has 10 days to decide whether to sign the contract. A possible loss of the election could mean that he may decide not to sign the deal.
"The president can still choose not to sign it until after the election and just take it hostage," said Harkins. "And basically you're saying," You get all of these goodies, but only if I'm re-elected. "
Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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