For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Now that Donald Trump is off the dex, he’s changed his mind and suddenly wants a stimulus deal with Democrats. Here’s his latest proposal:
The new $1.8 trillion offer is an increase from the White House’s most recent proposal of around $1.6 trillion, which Pelosi had dismissed as too meager. Among the changes: The new offer proposes $300 billion for cities and states, up from $250 billion in the earlier proposal; it maintains a $400 weekly enhanced unemployment insurance benefit from the previous version, but for a somewhat longer duration, according to a person familiar with the contents who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss them.
The White House’s offer on stimulus checks includes $1,000 per child, instead of the $500 per child provided in the original Cares Act approved in March, according to two people with knowledge of the plan. The increase in the payment to children appears to be intended as a compromise measure for rejecting tax credits for children pushed by Pelosi in negotiations.
Apparently this is actually a $1.88 trillion offer. And honestly, it’s not that bad. Pelosi should ask for $400 billion for cities and states, which would bring the total to $1.98 trillion, and call it a day. Trump would get to say that he kept Democrats under $2 trillion but still came through for the American people. Pelosi could basically say the same. And if the assistance to cities and states is too small, it’s at least a decent start.
It’s not clear if Republicans would pass a $2 trillion bill, but I imagine Trump still has some pull even as far down in the polls as he is. In any case, if Biden wins the election Republicans obviously won’t do anything, so this is our last chance to do something to help the people most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s well worth a try.