As Congressional leaders argued over their competing priorities for another round of relief, coronavirus cases spiked, millions of Americans fell into poverty, and countless businesses, restaurants, and venues closed as their revenues evaporated amid the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that this new deal has input from our Democratic colleagues – it is non-partisan,” said McConnell, who initially opposed another stimulus package and said Congress should pause and examine the deficit before offering further relief. “But these matters could long ago have been settled.”
Encouraged after the November election, a bipartisan group of moderates brokered their own $ 748 billion compromise and pressured Congress leaders to redouble their efforts to reach an agreement. Ultimately, the top two Democrats and the top two Republicans on Capitol Hill, who had teamed up with their staff and at times with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, argued over the final deal over a few chaotic days in the week leading up to Christmas.
The deal was far tighter than the one the Democrats had long insisted on and almost twice the size that the Republicans had ever accepted in the days leading up to the November election.
At the heart of the breakthrough was a mutual agreement to drop critical priorities advocated by one party and loathed by the other: a democratic push to create a direct stream of resources for financially troubled state and local governments, and a call by Republicans for a comprehensive one Liability protections for businesses, hospitals and other facilities open during the pandemic.
But it almost fell apart when the Democrats looked for additional ways to relieve the state and local governments suffering from severe revenue shortages and when Republicans struggled to limit the power of the Federal Reserve, local authority, corporation, or other institution continue to grant loans this year through a series of emergency loan programs to stabilize the economy during the pandemic in times of crisis.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey made a last-minute push to ensure these programs end and prevent the Fed and Treasury from running similar programs in the future. Democrats resisted, arguing that the Fed’s move would deprive the Fed of vital tools to strengthen the economy and tie Mr Biden’s hands when faced with a daunting public health and economic crisis.