Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mitch McConnell has squandered his leverage over stimulus

In the past few months Republicans have done little more than making demands about COVID liability immunity without bothering to write a bill. Some of the emergency measures passed in March (most notably the $600 unemployment insurance enhancement) are set to expire next week and the GOP only just started talking about what their plan should be. Meanwhile, the Democrats passed their bill in May.

After dithering for two months, the GOP is now under the gun and is going to blow the end of July deadline for continuing those benefits. When the enhanced benefits stop, consumer spending will plummet and the economy will deflate with it. Which will only increase the Democrats' bargaining power with the Republicans when they finally realize that we have to do something to avoid economic ruin.

I realize this will just be viewed as trolling Republicans, but I honestly think McConnell's best play right now is to just pass the Democrat's stimulus bill from May and hope that their base doesn't remember their betrayal in November. That would at least pump up the economy which would be better for Republicans than running during a complete economic collapse. As an added bonus, if the GOP does lose in November, they can always blame the loss on their decision to sign on to the stimulus bill, rather than face the starker reality of an entire party bamboozled into oblivion by a third-rate reality show con man.