There’s reporting today from Politico that suggests bigger is not always better.
Recall that further economic relief tied to COVID-19 has been at a stalemate in Washington. In essence, Democrats want more, Republicans want less in terms of dollar amounts. The House passed a huge bill months ago which was a non-starter with the GOP. Republicans in the Senate tried to get debate on their scaled down bill, but Democrats blocked that earlier this week.
The House Democrats strategy has been to stand firm in getting huge bills passed, often with a few gifts tucked in that Republicans don’t like, but feel forced to vote for in order to get what they really want. But their base squawked loudly about that with the first CARES act.
Now comes word that some moderates in the House Democrat caucus are exerting pressure on the Speaker to break up the big bill into smaller parts that everyone–in theory–can agree on so that something–anything–can be done before the election. And remember, every one of the 435 members of the U.S. House is on the ballot in just 48 days.
The theory is that while it is messier, getting clean individual bills on funding for enhanced unemployment, more Paycheck Protection Program funding, perhaps more direct checks to citizens, new testing policies, and state and local aid will force Republicans to the table. Right now, Democrats are losing out on the discussion, and there’s hope this approach will break the logjam.
It’s put up or shut up time, especially important in a “what have you done for me lately” society with a fickle electorate.