Congress, Mitch Mcconnell, President Trump discussed on Memphis Morning News
Congressional leaders reaching a $900 billion stimulus compromise and to go in depth on how this whole thing came together. I'm joined now by White House reporter for Axios covering the president and Congress. Elena Train. Elena. Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to talk to us. I know you've been following this whole issue closely. This is something that's been going on for months. Now. What was it that really led to a deal coming together? Well, good morning, right? And thank you for having me on. Really. I mean, I think a ton of the benefit From past coronavirus relief gradually Excuse me. Coronavirus. Relief legislation is expiring at the end of this year, and so they really need To get their act together. I mean, granted. This has been eight months in the making. I've been covering this, um Repeatedly over the past year. This is something that Congress tried to do in July and failed trying to do earlier in the fall and failed on and so, ah, lot of skepticism that they would be able to make this deal that they're expected to vote on today, but it's happening, and I think the big thing here was the election after The election, Democrats dropped their demand to go a bit lower down on their price tag. They previously wanted nothing lower than 2.2 trillion. Of course, the deal that will be voting on today is around 900 billion on. That's because Democrats argue that this is a down payment or a starter package. Um and not You know the final relief. They want much more comprehensive early. But this is a start because there will be a president Joe Biden in office in January so that their case that they're making for it, and a big group of bipartisan lawmakers as well really came together and kind of I got the ball rolling again after the election to create this framework that both sides could agree on. And so I think that's really what gave it the MO mentum toe where we're seeing a vote finally happened in the days just before the holidays, and that leads me right into my next question. Who are the players in Congress who have really been front and center during these negotiations? Well previous book prior to the election. When these were going on, it was really House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Post election And the majority leader, Mitch McConnell took a much more front and center role, and he's been really leading the Republican side of these negotiations. So Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are kind of the two Big people that we followed, as well as the Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority on Excuse me, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. And so those are the four people who have really been heavily involved in this the White House. Also some involvement. They are the ones who pushed Um to include stimulus checks on the Republican side that they have had some heavy involvement as well. But really Senate leader McConnell and House Speaker Pelosi are the ones who have been The man kind of calling the shots. Yeah, I'm joined by Elena Train White House reporter for Axios covering the President and Congress. We're talking about today's top story. Congressional leaders reaching a $900 billion stimulus compromise. So you mentioned Democrats. They are viewing this as an initial package that They think will lead to another bigger package. Once President Electro Biden is in office Republicans, they have to be happy with this deal. I'm assuming for the most part, because you know, this was not the 2.4 trillion or 2.2 trillion, or even the $1.8 trillion deal that was being floated before the election. This is much closer to what Senate Republicans had offered up Ah, couple of months ago. Yes, That's right. And that's why many Republicans are calling this a win. I know my sources within Mitch McConnell's office are trying to portray this as such, They say that the 900 Million dollar deal eyes very similar to the bill that was put out in July by Mitch McConnell. And there are a lot of similarities. Of course. Democrats argue that the main thing that Republicans had to give up in this negotiation was liability protections for businesses that was previously a red line for Republicans on DIT is a major concession, but Democrats have to concede on more funding for state and local governments, which was their red line in many ways. On, of course, that that price tag number 2.2 trillion. Coming down to 900 billion is a massive, um Decrease from from what they've been pushing in from their bottom line number. But again, they do hope that this is a down payment. That's how they're selling in. The Democrats are trying to be confident in this deal, and I think from their perspective, they don't think it's enough. But they're trying to argue that it does the job for now, and it is what will pass and I think that's the key thing here. Both sides needed to come to the table and compromise and some Big priorities, and that's the deal that we're seeing today. Did it help that This deal is part of obviously a larger overall spending package. And there was a lot of pressure to get these things done because of course, you know, not getting them done could lead to a government shutdown. Yes. Unfortunately, that is the way that Congress operates. They need a deadline that threatens a shutdown of the government toe. Really get things done and again also, I think we always see this play out right before the holidays. I've said it before I'll say it again. I think the holidays are one of the best motivators to get. Politicians and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to finally agree to something because they're all so eager to get out of town and be with their families. And so, um, yes. I mean, it is a bit remarkable. They've had to pass three. Short term. Continuing resolutions just continue to keep the government open. It was supposed to, um, last week was the first time that they had a sign that continuing resolution to avert a shutdown. They find another one on Friday night and then another one last night, Um, just to make sure that the government was funded for and a lot of amount of time. It just shows the pressure of the timeline that they're working within 100%. That is what is helping force them into making a deal. And while we're seeing all these late nights On the health of these leaders. I'm joined by Elena Train White House reporter for Axios covering the president and Congress. There was a bipartisan group that came together like you mentioned after the election that really took the lead on all of this. A bipartisan group of senators. Is that something that you know now that they essentially have a win here, eyes that something that could lead to more working groups like that. In the future to try to get other things done. Definitely I think that, um And I think this is something that The vice president elect Joe Biden and his future administration are going to be pushing. He he called himself. Um, he wants to be a unifier. He wants to unite Republicans and Democrats and have more bipartisanship. Of course, time will tell if he's able to actually do that..