Second Incentive Update: The next payment may depend on the election of the Georgian Senate. Here’s the latest.


The January election election of the U.S. Senate seats in Georgia will determine which party controls the chamber. It may also decide whether Congress will pass a new coronavirus stimulus law.

Those? If Democrats removed both Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue, the dissolution of the Senate would be 50-50. And that would mean Democrats would rule, as elected Vice President Kamala Harris could sever ties.

Of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Instead, you can choose to make an agreement with the House Democrats, including the new $ 1,200 checks, before Congress adjourns the year.

“If the Democrats are smart, they will try to hold this referendum on the absence of an incentive package,” said Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich New Jersey Political Institute at Rider University.

“This is going to be a really outstanding, powerful issue in Georgia: If the Democrats get these two seats, you get an incentive package and you get a check. If you don’t want to see another check, give McConnell a chance to do more of what he did.

Americans will sooner or later want a new stimulus bill, a Pew Research Center survey released on Friday. More than two-thirds, 68%, said they want the bill passed by the current congress, while 11% are waiting to wait until Joe Biden becomes president. Only 19% say no further help is needed. A poll of 11,818 U.S. adults was conducted Nov. 12-17, with a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points.

Negotiations on the new incentive bill have come to a standstill over democratic demands that state and local governments should include hundreds of billions of dollars, and Republicans demand to protect businesses from lawsuits if their clients or employers are infected with the coronavirus.

“I think reaching an agreement will help both parties,” said Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., Co-chair of Problem Solvers Caucus, who is proposing compromise legislation.

“Failure to close the deal hurts both parties. It is very important that both parties show that they accept the bill. Either party will be punished if it appears to be an obstructionist. “

That may be one of the reasons the House Democrats lost at least 10 seats in the November 3 election after gaining a majority, Gottheimer said, referring to voters who could have punished them for not helping with the pandemic-induced economic downturn. . .

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that there is a great need for an incentive package,” said Ashley Koning, director and assistant professor at Rutgers ’Eagleton Center for Public Interest Research. “It would make sense if both Democrats and Republicans want to reach some kind of consensus on this.”

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Both the Senate and the House support the renewal of support for small businesses and an increase in unemployment insurance payments. McConnell suggested that Congress approve these provisions and fight for everything else later.

But House Democrats insist that all bills include federal support for severely affected states and local governments that have not yet started among Republicans, even when McConnell recently expressed a willingness to consider such help.

When Vice President Joe Biden was, federal support to state governments was a key element of the $ 787 billion incentive law passed in 2009 in response to the Great Recession. That accounted for 42% of the package, or $ 330 billion, according to the California State Legislature’s Office of Fiscal and Political Analysis.

Meanwhile, Americans are hurting, statistics show.

According to the Center for Budgetary and Political Priorities, a progressive research group, about 12% of New Jersey adults with children – 291,000 – said their children were not eating enough because they could not afford to be fed properly.

The number of New Jersey residents receiving food stamps rose 11% between February and July, from 665,000 to 735,000, according to the center. And 17% of tenants, 352,000, fall short of their salaries.

This puts more pressure on both sides to sit down and negotiate, Gottheimer said.

“Right now. Both sides aren’t exactly shuffling a little bit to get to the table,” he said. “It’s worth showing that he wants to close the deal. We really have to work to make an agreement.”

So far, Senate Republicans have been unwilling to spend more than $ 500 billion, and that includes raising tax subsidies for religious and other private schools.

Their bill didn’t attract enough support to pass their chamber, letting go of the Democrat-controlled house that voted to spend $ 2.4 trillion.

“Whether or not the Senate delivers to the American people, it has always been the decision of the majority leader,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J. “Mitch McConnell sets the agenda and has so far refused to make meaningful contact with Democrats on any new incentives.”

Gottheimer acknowledged that once the election is over, there is no longer a need for immediate housing costs, such as money for local election officials and the U.S. Postal Service to deal with the increase in missing votes.

For the time being, this would reduce the size of the bill and allow Democrats to return more as soon as Bidenet is inaugurated as president.

– Do you get anything or nothing? Gottheimer said. “I’m choosing something because it’s a short-term emergency package to get into the Biden administration.” If we can get votes for something, and that’s enough for the right thing, we’ll take something. “

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Jonathan D. Salant available at [email protected].