- author: Michael Wrubel
Update on Second Stimulus Check and Package
Welcome back to "Michael in the Morning." Today, we have a lot of important updates on the second stimulus check and package to discuss. Let's dive right into the latest developments.
Urgent Need for Relief
President-elect Joe Biden recently urged lawmakers to swiftly pass a second stimulus package, emphasizing the immediate need for federal assistance. Biden stressed that people and small businesses are in desperate need of relief. This includes those who are at risk of eviction due to inability to pay their mortgage, individuals relying on unemployment insurance, and countless others grappling with financial difficulties.
Biden also highlighted the significance of providing cash-strapped state and local governments with additional funding. Neglecting to do so could potentially lead to layoffs of first responders and firefighters, which would exacerbate the economic situation and potentially trigger a further recession. He urged President Trump to recognize the severity of the crisis and pass a bill before leaving office.
McConnell's Stance on Stimulus Package
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also weighed in on the second stimulus package, expressing the need for a more targeted and smaller bill than what the Democrats propose. McConnell emphasized that a multi-trillion dollar package is not necessary and suggested that a 500 billion dollar bill, similar to the previously proposed Republican plan, would be adequate. However, with President Trump's election loss, Democrats fear his lacking motivation to pass any bill without personal incentives.
Vaccine Alone Won't Boost Economy
Many are hopeful that the recent positive news about Pfizer's vaccine could provide a significant economic stimulus. However, top economists caution that a vaccine alone will not solve the underlying challenges faced by the US economy. Carlton Inbound, the Chief Economist at Northern Trust, explains that while the vaccine news and an improved jobs report are encouraging, greater fiscal support is still essential for the economy to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The current unemployment numbers remain alarming, with over 10 million Americans collecting unemployment benefits. These individuals face a long road to employment as many industries have either disappeared completely or are struggling due to the pandemic. Additionally, support for state and local governments is crucial, as their budgets have been severely impacted by loss of revenue. Therefore, a comprehensive stimulus package is vital to address these challenges effectively.
New Government-Wide Spending Bill
Republicans controlling the Senate recently introduced a new government-wide spending bill worth 1.4 trillion dollars, which contains bipartisan elements. However, the bill faces uncertain odds during the post-election lame duck session in Washington. It includes funding for President Trump's border wall and other provisions that are opposed by Democrats.
Nevertheless, leaders from both parties are eager to reach an agreement and pass this bill before December 11th, when the current government spending bill expires. Failure to do so could result in a government shutdown. Notably, the bill allocates 696 billion dollars for the defense budget.
Overall, the ongoing discussions on the second stimulus check and package, coupled with the new government spending bill, highlight the pressing need to address the economic challenges caused by the pandemic. Immediate relief measures, including financial assistance for individuals, businesses, and state and local governments, are essential to stabilize the economy and facilitate recovery.
Remember to stay informed, as the situation continues to develop. That's it for today's update on the second stimulus check and package. Thank you for tuning in, and I'll see you next time.
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