Congress has stalled on a new deal to get money into the hands of Americans for weeks as states across the country continue to battle COVID-19 and severe unemployment; the Trump administration has said if Congress does not reach an agreement by Friday, there may be no deal at all.
“I believe there will be at least 20-plus Republicans that are no-votes on whatever agreement, if there is an agreement, comes forward,” Gooden said on “Mornings with Maria.” “I think that’s the same on the House side. Republicans are not united in this belief that we need to spend trillions of more dollars at this point, especially if it involves concessions to [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi that are too painful.”
He said Congress is not in the same panic mode it was experiencing during the early months of the virus when “Republicans voted 96-0 on eight packages that they otherwise would never have supported in the past.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not “really involved in” talks with Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Gooden said.
He added that he suspects the president will take executive action to suspend the federal payroll tax and evictions if Congress does not reach an agreement.
“I see a scenario at this point where no one reaches a deal, the president issues an executive action, and do you really think the Democrats are going to sue the president saying, ‘Don’t evict Americans that are past due on their rent’? I can’t imagine that being the case, but it seems as if progress has stopped.”
Progress has stalled because Democrats are unwilling to negotiate unemployment benefits below $600 per week and are not interested in the liability protections Republicans want to offer businesses and schools, among other negotiations involving another $1,200 direct payment to Americans and more funding for schools, the U.S. Postal Service and small businesses.
President Trump said during a Wednesday press conference that “in the meantime,” his administration is working on taking executive action to “provide protections against eviction” and “additional relief to those who are unemployed as a result of the virus,” as well as a “term-limited suspension of the payroll tax.”