Windows Closing for Legislative and Judiciary Action

Time is running out for the administration and Congress to reach an agreement on one more COVID relief package

After President Trump ended COVID negotiations with congressional Democrats last week, he reversed course and authorized Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to re-open negotiations with a bid of up to $1.8 trillion.

But earlier today, Speaker Pelosi explained to House Democrats where the proposal is still lacking, including state and local funding deficits, child and earned income tax credits, elections funding and the census. 

If the administration is inclined to address Pelosi’s concerns, time is running short. Both parties must finalize the details, draft and proof the text and pass it through both houses for the president to sign it by Nov. 3. Given recent skeptical statements by Senator McConnell and other Senate Republicans about the substance and timing of the bill, Senate passage or even Senate consideration before Nov. 3 is not guaranteed.

Meantime, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its Supreme Court nomination hearing for Amy Coney Barrett yesterday. It will likely vote her out of committee favorably next week with two Republican senators attending hearings after testing positive for COVID-19. 

When a full vote in the Senate could occur remains unclear. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated he would like to hold the vote before the election and believes he has the votes he needs to confirm her. Barring an unforeseen revelation about Barrett, McConnell is likely to pass her with ease

But nothing in Washington is ever assured—ongoing negotiations over the stimulus package could derail or delay her passage.