Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and the unresolved status of Senate control left slim prospects for a major fiscal-stimulus package before January.
While President Donald Trump last month pledged a large post-election stimulus act, it was based on his assumption that he’d win re-election. He now has little political incentive — or capital — to drive a deal through a divided Congress in his remaining weeks in office.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers were quick to restate their opposing positions on Friday as Biden closed in on his win. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cited falling unemployment in arguing for a “highly targeted” relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected that idea, saying “that isn’t something we should be looking at.”
While each side called for renewed talks, and neither advocated holding off until next year, Democrats potentially have an incentive to wait until two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January make clear whether they’ll retake control of the upper chamber. That would allow Biden, Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to push ahead with their own plan.