Hopes for another coronavirus relief package before the election were squashed this week when the Senate adjourned until Nov. 9 — and a new poll found who Americans blame for the lack of an agreement.
Democrats, Republicans and the White House have been unable to reach a deal on a second stimulus package for months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have come closer to reaching a compromise on a bill worth up to $2 trillion, CBS News reports, but they’ve remained at odds over key aspects of the package.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have balked at the costs from the Democrats’ and the White House’s plans, instead proposing their own $500 billion bill — which Democrats blocked.
Now, with the Senate in recess, it’s inevitable Americans will be left without another round of aid until after the Nov. 3 election as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
A Morning Consulate poll released Wednesday but conducted prior to the Senate adjournment found more Americans think congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump are to blame for the inability to come to an agreement than think the same of Democrats in Congress.
The poll of 1,990 registered voters was conducted Oct. 23-25. Respondents were split into two samples: 1,067 voters were asked who is mostly to blame among Republicans in Congress, Democrats in Congress and the president while the other 923 voters were asked the same question but with Republicans and Trump lumped together, the polls says. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for both groups.
When asked who is “mostly to blame for the lack of an agreement on an economic relief bill,” 45% of the 923-voter group answered Republicans and Trump while 40% answered Democrats. Another 15% said they don’t know.
Among the same group, 65% of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents said Democrats are mostly to blame while 23% said the same of Trump and Republicans. Meanwhile, 71% of Democratic or Democratic-leaning respondents answered Trump and Republicans are to blame and 17% answered congressional Democrats.
Of respondents asked about Trump and Republicans separately, 25% blamed Republicans in Congress, 19% blamed Trump and 41% blamed Congressional Democrats. Another 16% didn’t know who to blame or had no opinion.
Eight percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters in that group placed blame on Republicans in Congress, 10% on Trump and 72% on Democrats in Congress. Among Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters, 43% said Republicans are mostly to blame, 28% answered Trump and 15% answered Democrats.
The public has overwhelmingly supported a second relief package.
A New York Times/Sienna College poll conducted from Oct. 15-18 found 72% of likely voters, including most Republicans, were in favor of another bill, McClatchy News reported.
But even before the Senate left this week, talks among lawmakers were on-again, off-again. Earlier this month, Trump called off negotiations and shifted the focus to confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who was sworn in this week.
He pivoted on that stance just days later, offering a $1.8 trillion proposal — the White House’s costliest offer as of that point, McClatchy News reported. Lawmakers were still unable to agree, leaving the future of a bill in limbo before chances of reaching a deal any time soon were essentially nixed this week.
This comes as experts have warned that the change in seasons could worsen the country’s COVID-19 situation. More than 8.7 million Americans have contracted the virus and more than 226,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Friday, the U.S. reported a record number of daily cases: more than 83,000.