THE HUMAN YO-YO HAS BOUNCED BACK UP: President DONALD TRUMP now desperately wants a Covid relief deal, and his White House seems to be trying to make it happen for him.
BUT Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL said today in Kentucky he thinks it is very unlikely something will get done in the next three weeks — and that explains the tension here.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS and Hill sources tell us that they plan to work through this weekend, all next week and possibly next weekend to get a deal.
WHO KNOWS WHY TRUMP WANTS THIS. He may want noise to fill the silence. Maybe he wants a bump in the stock market. We’re not mood readers or psychiatrists or psychics. This deal could’ve been cut 90 times between May and now.
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS WE PICKED UP ON this morning, which are likely to be represented in an offer we’re told the administration will transmit to Speaker NANCY PELOSI today:
— THE WHITE HOUSE’S top-line number is $1.8 trillion. The line the GOP can’t cross is $2 trillion. All depends on the details, but this is now significantly higher than the GOP’s previous top line, which was $1.5 trillion.
— THE ADMINISTRATION is aiming for $300 billion in state and local funding. Too low for Democrats, but in the right direction. The GOP will have to come up here. Also, there’s unspent money that could be counted.
— THEY WANT TO TRY TO REPLACE the Earned Income Tax Credit with a boost in stimulus payments. We’re not clear here on the details, but it shows that the GOP is looking to close up an unresolved element of the negotiations.
BUT HERE ARE THE PROBLEMS: Lots of details are still not worked out. And Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to hate this. It’s going to be hard to get through the House with many Republican votes, and it could land in the Senate as late as the end of this month or on the doorstep of early November. What do they do with a bill at that point? Probably ignore it.
CASE IN POINT — MCCONNELL today in BULLEIT COUNTY, KY.: “The situation is kind of murky, and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage. I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks.” More from Marianne LeVine
TAKEAWAY: DEAL, more likely than ever. A deal means MNUCHIN and PELOSI say they have reached a deal. AN ACTUAL LAW: Not terribly likely pre-election.
THERE IS A SPLIT MINDSHARE IN D.C.: Will MCCONNELL accede to the White House no matter the deal? Or will he hold his