Democrats fold in stimulus negotiations with McConnell

The newspapers bring a new chapter every day in the ongoing saga of the Democrats’ failure to negotiate federal stimulus payments for the unemployed.

Today, the news is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to submit a $500 billion Republican stimulus bill for Senate approval. Months ago, the House approved a $3.5 trillion stimulus bill, which McConnell allowed to sit on his desk for two months before negotiations on a compromise even began.

The Democrats, who touted Nancy Pelosi’s negotiating prowess, have been completely outnegotiated by the Republican tag-team of Mark Meadows, Steve Mnuchin, and McConnell himself.

The unemployed and the states, which need stimulus money to avoid laying off teachers, firemen, police, and first responders, have been left high and dry.

The Democrats have two levers of power: First, they can demand something from the Republicans in exchange for their approval of an increase in the debt limit. Without their approval, the government would shut down on October 1.

Pelosi has already foresworn use of that power lever, having agreed to pass a “clean” continuing resolution.

Second, Biden could make a big issue of the Republicans’ failure to support the unemployed or the states in his campaign. He hasn’t. He hasstated that he will not raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 a year.

The Republicans play hardball, while the Democrats whiff at the plate.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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