Congress, Biden, Janet Yellen discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network


It's never too early to start talking about the next election cycle. How freer the hands of biden's economic team as they come in because i know what democrats are bracing for his republicans learning again that they think deficits are bad and trying to block. Whatever whatever spending or initiatives might come from from democrats. We saw some pretty creative policy-making from the treasury department in the trump administration when we didn't get a new coronavirus relief deal back in the fall they sort of looked under the couch cushions and found a bunch of money to give to states to do some sort of expansion of unemployment benefits. They use the centers for disease control to put forward a moratorium on evictions. It do you expect biden to learn from some of that and to what extent is is this economic team going to be able to act independently of congress. So i think they're gonna have to be thinking outside the box even if the two senate races in georgia swing the democrats way. It's still going to be very tight. Congress in the new year. And there's gonna be a lot of creative regulatory approaches executive order executive branch Approaches and. I think that's partly we're having some of the deep expertise that we were talking about with someone like janet yellen while eddie aimo. The council economic advisers is also deeply experienced in a lot of this stuff. I think that's where that will really be helpful. But i think there are two really big challenges on the horizon for the incoming biden administration. The first is between now and inauguration day. They're still quite a lot of damage that the trump administration can do just to gum up the works for the next administration. So secretary mnuchin has been trying to claw back some of the dollars at the cares. Act that authorized to treasury for recovery. Efforts move it to a different account. that wouldn't be able to be accessed by the fed in the new year. There's some controversy about this because congressional oversight Folks that they've had some hearings suggesting that this is actually not permitted. That cares act actually. Requires that money to be left available for several more months that the new administration could in theory access. So there's some active controversies right now. And then there's the deeper push of the pivot back. Toss charity that. You mentioned josh. Look i mean it's it's completely incredible right at this point for especially these this this last republican congress to rediscover fiscal discipline after blowing hundreds of billions on tax cuts in a few years ago but nevertheless there already pivoting to that political stance. And i think it'll be an early test of the biden team. That can they resist that that kind of false narrative and instead focus on the job of rescuing the economy the last big outstanding policy item for this lame duck session. Congress is trying finally to get another round of corona virus relief. I'll be back with lonnie chen of the hoover institution and steal rahman demos to talk about how those efforts are looking. You're listening to left right and center. You're hearing from our left right and center and we want to hear from you to tweet us at llc kcrw and download the free kcrw app to listen to left right and center on demand back again with left right and center. I'm josh barrow. On the right is launching chen philip. The hoover institution on left us appeal rahman president of dinos congress is at an impasse over another round of coronavirus relief. Which really is a place that has been for months. A bipartisan group of senators including mitt romney susan collins and joe mansion has proposed a package of just over nine hundred billion dollars of additional relief it would include an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits more aid to small businesses financial assistance for state and local governments and liability shield for businesses. That may be sued over covid. Nineteen democrats are largely on board for the deal their heartburn over the liability issue but mitch. Mcconnell has poured cold water on it. There's been strong. Republican resistance to another large tranche of money for state and local governments whose finances have not been as battered as they were expected to be in the spring. Do a strong rebound in the personal income tax base especially among higher income americans who pay the most taxes to state governments. The white house swooped in with its own proposal. Agreeing with some republicans and democrats on capitol hill that there should be another round of stimulus checks for most americans. That's an element. That's not included in the bipartisan package. However the white house idea was to pay for that additional round of checks by getting rid of the unemployment extension which is a non starter for democrats and for some republicans. Congress also needs to pass bills to keep the government open as tape. They're working on a one week extension of that. If the more time to negotiate over relief but the negotiations are really not looking great right now what is it going to take to get republicans to agree to another round of relief. Well i it's. It's an interesting dynamic because even within the republican party there are disagreements for example about how aggressive to be with direct stimulus. So you have some. Like josh hawley. Who actually talk about strange bedfellows. Moment came together with bernie sanders this week to introduce legislation that would essentially provide direct stimulus. Checks i think the amount of twelve hundred dollars to too many americans and so you've even got disagreement over that there is disagreement over how aggressively to press the case on liability in liability shield issue which republicans have previously seen as being very important And then you have this broader question really of How much of this. How much do we wanna get done. As part of this covert relief package versus trying to take some pieces of it and maybe handle them next year during the new congress. Certainly one issue you noted which has been very controversial on the right is is the bailout or the additional money for state and local governments that for many republicans has been a direct nonstarter in terms of what it's going to take for republicans to agree i had previously thought that the idea of simply slamming things down and as mcconnell has suggested sort of taking out the most controversial elements whether for the right and the left and only doing sort of a smaller package that that might have drawn more support That may be in fact where they end up out of political necessity but That would have been previously. Kinda where i thought they could find common ground and where republicans would say. Okay even if we don't love it we're gonna be okay with this but It really seems like a distinct possibility. Josh that we might actually get through this next week and still not have an agreement which is really remarkable. Fundamentally this is about giving out money and usually members of congress are very good at that but they don't seem to be up to be all that interested in coming to an agreement on something that i think actually has a real impact on people in a real impact on the economy where it stands. Now what are you. What do you make of the state of these negotiations. I know the way. Democrats feel as they initially asked three trillion dollars. They feel like they've given up and giving up and giving up ground. Obviously that's not precisely negotiations work. It's not that you get to throw out whatever number you want at the beginning and then you end up halfway in between your number and the other side's number but as i guess. What is the purpose of this. Bill for democrats i i've been. I've been very specific about calling it a relief. Bill rather than stimulus bill. Because i think that the household incomes are going to rise faster and twenty twenty probably in any year since nineteen eighty-four It's not that we need a broad based economic stimulus that we need to aim at specific parts of the of the economy and the society that have been hit hard unemployment benefits being at the top of that. You have a very unequal effect here. Some people who have kept their jobs through this and who have had their expenses go down there. Their household finances are fine. You've other people who've been really devastated because they work in an industry that has gone to a large fraction of it has gone out of business for months because of this. So you need that targeted relief. I guess the question is what's on that list besides unemployment benefits that so important and are these state and local government aid monies is that is that corky thing because that seems like the thing that you can give up that would be the most.

Coming up next