TAMPA, Fla. — The countdown is on to pass a second stimulus package. Congressional leaders hoped to get another deal approved before election day, but experts say that's unlikely to happen.
“Will the Congress, will Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, will they consummate a deal? That’s the question,” said Dr. J. Edwin Benton, Professor of Political Science at USF.
After going back and forth for months, Congress still hasn’t reached an agreement on another coronavirus relief package.
The first aid agreement was passed back in March, and time is running out to get a new deal before the election.
“The other thing Americans are looking for, and businesses are looking for, and unemployed people are looking for — is there going to be another round of stimulus money? Not only for citizens but for businesses that are failing right and left,” said Benton.
The House passed a $3 trillion package back in May, but it didn’t get very far in the Senate.
Recently, The White House offered a $1.8 trillion compromise, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they needed to address more things like COVID-19 testing plans, aid to state and local governments, and tax cuts.
Although experts say they probably won’t reach a deal before election day, some lawmakers insist talks are not over.
Benton says it will be interesting to see what happens with coronavirus relief money before the inauguration, depending on who wins the election.
If President Donald Trump wins, experts say lawmakers may try to get a stimulus package approved before he’s sworn into office for a second term.
If Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden wins, experts say it may be more difficult to get congress to agree on aid that quickly.
They say the period of time between election day and the inauguration is historically considered a dead zone for getting new legislation passed, especially if there’s a new president.
“We have roughly two and half months before inauguration, we have a lame duck President, a lame duck Congress, specifically a Republican controlled Senate that bind up legislation whether it’s a different CARES package, or stimulus package,” said Benton.