President Donald Trump threw the prospect of another round of stimulus checks back into play earlier this week, calling for Republicans to get behind another big aid package.
But the Senate GOP hasn’t been swayed so far — and they’re doubling down on their reluctance to approve more federal spending after Democrats blocked a slimmed-down $300 billion package last week.
Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and a conservative economist in contact with several congressional GOP offices, says the standoff between both parties stems from conflicting views of what a package should achieve.
“The core disagreement: Are we trying to get the economy back up and running or should we keep it shut down?” Cass told Business Insider.
Complicating matters is that Republicans never coalesced around an aid package. They unveiled a $1 trillion plan in late July, but Senate Republicans never brought it to a vote since scores of lawmakers within their party opposed the price tag.
Cass favors another stimulus package to prop up the economy, saying its recovery can be accelerated by helping people return to work. He adds additional relief legislation would likely benefit the GOP politically ahead of November.
“It seems odd for the controlling party in power in both the Senate and White House with an incredibly important, close and contentious election a few months away to be rejecting the idea of an economic policy that’s much needed and very popular,” Cass said.