clearn.png
Saturday May 30th, 2020 11:01PM

As coronavirus rolls on, Republicans hit 'pause' on new aid

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses are going belly up, tens of millions have been laid off and, by some measures, the U.S. seems headed for another Great Depression. But Republicans surveying the wreckage aren't ready for another round of coronavirus aid, instead urging a “pause.”

Polls show GOP voters think the government is already doing enough, Republicans on Capitol Hill are divided over the best approach and billions approved by Congress have yet to be spent. It's unclear what President Donald Trump wants to do next, if anything, to help the economy. His payroll tax cut idea hasn't gained any traction in Congress.

For these and other reasons, GOP leaders see an unfolding crisis that does not yet cry out for further action.

“There’s just a pragmatic piece to this, which is, if we’re going to do another bill, let’s get into June and July so we know how people are re-emerging,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee.

The political balancing act comes as the long-dormant deficit-hawk wing of the GOP lumbers back to life, recoiling from the House Democratic proposal to spend another $3 trillion in taxpayer money. Yet many Republicans acknowledge there is a risk to standing pat, given the massive unemployment, financial struggles for local governments and growing COVID-19 caseloads, particularly with the November election approaching.

Despite their distaste for further negotiations with Democrats, many Republicans privately see passage of another coronavirus measure as inevitable.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a proponent of the “pause,” says Republicans are “taking a look at what we’ve already done. And we’ve added about $3 trillion to the national debt, and assessing the effectiveness of that before deciding to go forward.”

Yet McConnell, R-Ky., is cracking open the door to more legislation, provided that it is “narrowly targeted.”

“I’m in discussion, we all are, with the administration. If we reach a decision along with the administration to move to another phase, that’ll be the time to interact with the Democrats,” he said.

On Thursday, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it's inevitable that Republicans will negotiate. He would like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with whom he has a good relationship, to remain in a leading role.

“In the last two bills, they sat on the sidelines at the beginning, said our way or no way, and then they had to come to the table," Schumer said on CNBC. “Steve Mnuchin was a very positive and powerful force, bringing them in that direction because he knew we had to do stuff for the economy — and the bill for all the partisanship passed 96-0."

Still, recent polls show GOP voters are far more likely to be satisfied with the government’s virus response than are Democrats. They are less fearful of a second wave of cases as states loosen stay-at-home orders, and they are not clamoring for more aid.

“We’re starting to hear grumbling against spending that I haven’t heard for a while,” said Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, a conservative group.

Conservative senators from GOP strongholds argue that Washington has done enough, and they have been squaring off in meetings with moderates and pragmatists siding with Democrats. The moderates are supportive of relief for states and local governments, help for the Postal Service, additional jobless aid, and further provisions on testing and tracing for the virus.

The conservative senators have influence with Trump, but he doesn't share their fiscal instincts.

The president and deputies such as Mnuchin have signaled a willingness to deliver aid to state and local governments, which is a central demand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Trump at one point even floated a massive debt-financed effort on infrastructure, leaving many conservatives aghast.

Trump has cautioned Republicans against drawing a red line against state and local aid.

Many think the next coronavirus bill, when it passes, will be the last one for a while.

“I don’t see us coming back before the election so I’d rather us get this smart and right rather than shoveling more coal into the fire, and people saying we’ll come back and do more,” McHenry said.

But it's clear that Republicans are dreading another round of negotiations with Democrats.

While each of the four prior COVID-19 response measures passed by almost unanimous votes, the outcome required GOP leaders to accept significant legislative victories for Pelosi and Schumer. They fear another episode in which Mnuchin, a former Democrat, gives them even more.

___

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump's push for opening school clashes with Fauci's caution
President Donald Trump is pushing governors to reopen schools as soon as possible, framing the effort to resume classes as a sign that the U.S. is coming back from the coronavirus outbreak
12:23AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Obama emerges as central figure in 2020 presidential race
It's been nearly eight years since Barack Obama was on the ballot, but the former president is emerging as a central figure in the 2020 election
12:21AM ( 37 minutes ago )
As coronavirus rolls on, Republicans hit 'pause' on new aid
Businesses are going belly up, tens of millions have been laid off and, by some measures, the U.S. seems headed for another Great Depression
12:19AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump, GOP launch broad attack on Russia probe foundations
President Donald Trump and Republicans are launching a broad election-year attack on the foundation of the Russia investigation
10:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
Virus spikes could emerge weeks after US economic reopenings
While U.S. states are beginning to restart their economies after months of paralyzing coronavirus lockdowns, it could take weeks until it becomes clear whether those reopenings will cause a spike in COVID-19 cases
10:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump presses for schools to reopen, takes dig at Fauci
President Donald Trump is calling on governors across the nation to work to reopen schools that have been closed because of the coronavirus
10:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Consumers, lawmakers rip airlines for withholding refunds
Airlines are under growing pressure to give cash refunds instead of travel vouchers to passengers who cancel flights because of the coronavirus
6:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Interview: Pelosi: Americans 'worth it' on $3T virus aid
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending the $3 trillion price tag on Democrats’ pandemic relief package as what’s needed to confront the “villainous virus” and economic collapse
6:26PM ( 6 hours ago )
Republican claims victory in special California House vote
A former Navy combat pilot is claiming victory in the fight for an open U.S. House seat north of Los Angeles
5:11PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
New Zealand plans spending spree to counter virus job losses
New Zealand’s government plans to borrow and spend vast amounts of money as it tries to keep unemployment below 10% in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
11:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares fall as hopes fade for quick economic rebound
Asian shares are lower on pessimism about life getting back to normal soon amid the global pandemic, even as Japan prepares to let businesses reopen in some regions
11:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
New Zealand barber snips away at midnight as nation reopens
New Zealand has dropped most of its lockdown restrictions as the country prepared itself for a new normal
10:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Prodded by US, Mexico aims to restart industrial plants
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pledged to begin reopening Mexico starting Monday, even as the country saw its largest one-day jump in coronavirus cases, hospitals are reeling, and testing remains inadequate
5:13PM ( 7 hours ago )
Stocks drop again on worries about slow recovery for economy
Stocks fell to their second straight loss on Wall Street Wednesday, weighed down by worries about a slow recovery for the economy
4:43PM ( 8 hours ago )
Wall Street slides again on more worries about recession
Stocks fell for the second day in a row on Wall Street Wednesday, weighed down by worries about a slow recovery for the economy
4:10PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Trump's push for opening school clashes with Fauci's caution
President Donald Trump is pushing governors to reopen schools as soon as possible, framing the effort to resume classes as a sign that the U.S. is coming back from the coronavirus outbreak
12:23AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Obama emerges as central figure in 2020 presidential race
It's been nearly eight years since Barack Obama was on the ballot, but the former president is emerging as a central figure in the 2020 election
12:21AM ( 37 minutes ago )
'A pressure cooker': Pa. governor aims to contain GOP revolt
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is struggling to fight against a Republican revolt over his stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns
12:18AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Senate to consider renewal of surveillance laws
The Senate is expected to vote on whether to extend three surveillance authorities as senators of both parties express concerns that the laws infringe on Americans’ rights
12:17AM ( 41 minutes ago )
US immunologist warns of 'darkest winter' if virus rebounds
The U.S. immunologist who says he lost his government job because he warned the Trump administration to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic isn't backing off his bleak forecast
12:10AM ( 47 minutes ago )