Is Trump negotiating the stimulus bill only for re-election?


Fact Box

  • As of October 9, there have been 7.6 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 212,111 deaths.
  • For the first wave of stimulus checks, individual taxpayers received $1,200 each if their income was less than $75,000. Married couples received $2,400 if they earned less than $150,000. 
  • Republicans initially proposed a $1 trillion package as a starting point in contrast to Pelosi’s $3 trillion House-passed plan.
  • Democrats proposed a new $2.2 trillion bill on September 29 that includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, $2,400 per married couple, plus $500 per eligible dependent.
  • Less than 24 hours after being released from the hospital, Trump said, “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”
  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Bill (No)

President Trump is not negotiating the stimulus bill only for re-election. In fact, even Senate Majority Leader McConnell casts doubt on the chances of a negotiated agreement before November 3rd. Trump has fundamental differences of opinion about how stimulus funds should be allocated, which is why he's not endorsing the Democrat's proposed $2.2 trillion plan.

One of the elements in the plan the President takes issue with is its focus on keeping Americans out of work and dependent on government checks to pay their bills. Specifically, the Democrats' plan calls for extending the $600/week unemployment benefit to 2021 and making it retroactive to September 5th. 

The President favors an approach that directs funding to small businesses to finance and encourage economic growth and new jobs. Another key difference in the President's vision for stimulus as compared to the Democrats is his opposition to their tend for steering money to the public sector. Whenever Federal money goes to state and local government, there is an unintended negative consequence of additional bureaucratic overhead. 

The Democrats proposed plan contains '$500 billion in aid to state and local governments.' Another objection that President Trump has to the Democrats' stimulus plan is the price tag – the $2.2 trillion is currently $400 billion more that the President is willing to spend. Any additional spending by the government increases our national debt and future generations' financial burden to pay it off. President Trump's vision for a stimulus package is at odds with the one the Democrats are pushing, and he is right to negotiate for a better plan.


Tyler (Yes)

By insisting Trump will only approve the stimulus plan after his possible re-election, it appears as if he is bribing the American people. With over 30 million people currently unemployed and 35 million people facing eviction, Trump is trying to capitalize on the same struggling nation he is attempting to lead.

Clearly, Trump believes a stimulus is what's best for our country. Three days before halting discussions about the stimulus plan, he stated that the United States 'needs and wants a stimulus' and that the people need to come together to form one. However, Trump is currently 16 points behind former Vice President Joe Biden in recent poll results. Trump's staunch opposition to mail-in voting and his implications of remaining in the White House if he is not re-elected have previously been used as examples that the President is fearful that he will not defeat Joe Biden this upcoming election. Trump's doubts about his future in the White House may explain why some believe he is waving the concept of a new stimulus over America's head as a 'reward' for voting for him. 

Although Trump may believe that granting a new stimulus round is what's best, Senate Leader Mitch Mcconnell's uncertainty toward the stimulus plan may be causing Trump's sudden hesitance. He is less likely to face criticism from his peers and followers for approving the stimulus if the masses support his idea by voting for him. Trump's plan to approve the stimulus after his pending re-election appears to be completely calculated in an effort to acquire votes.

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