COVID-19 Stimulus Package Still Under Discussion.
- DOES THE COVID-19 STIMULUS PACKAGE COME TOGETHER? There continue to be talks of a COVID-19 relief package. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has indicated that the White House has until Tuesday to finalize a deal with House Democrats. Negotiations between Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been ongoing for months. President Trump has suggested he is willing to go above the most recent $1.8 trillion proposal from Mnuchin. Democrats have been pushing for a deal over $2 trillion. There are reports that differences remain on funding levels for contact tracing and testing. On the other hand, the Senate is focused on a much smaller package. The chamber will vote this week on a Paycheck Protection Program extension and a targeted $500 billion relief package. However, we should not view this bill as Senate Republicans’ final position on COVID-19 relief. Rather, it is likely to be their opening bid as negotiations continue after the election.
- As we have previously noted, there is potential for a deal to be done. That deal requires both sides to come down from their positions, but there is limited time for them to do so prior to the election. However, as we look toward Lame Duck session (the period between the election and when the new Congress is sworn in on January 3), we can expect that Senate Republicans will put more on the table in terms of a COVID-19 relief package. House Democrats, assuming that they have the White House in 2021, have to be willing to get what they can during the Lame Duck and then get the remaining parts of the package come January, or we wait until after the inauguration for a COVID-19 relief package.
- SUPREME COURT NOMINATION VOTING. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearings to consider the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Healthcare issues were frequently raised throughout the hearing process. The Committee is expected to vote on Thursday to send Judge Barrett’s nomination to the floor, with a floor vote closely following.
To view the full complete Weekly Preview, including Hearings of Note, click here. Check out this week’s episode of the Healthcare Preview podcast, now available on Sound Cloud, click here to subscribe.