Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers and Rick Newman discuss Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan as it heads to the Senate.
KRISTIN MYERS: Now, over the weekend, the House passed Biden's stimulus package, totaling nearly $2 trillion. Now it's up to the Senate to pass their version of the bill. So let's talk about what might be expected. We have Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman here with us now. Hey, Rick.
RICK NEWMAN: Hey.
KRISTIN MYERS: So, OK, we know that the Senate bill is not going to be including the minimum wage hikes that the House has decided to keep in the bill. And that, of course, would boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour. What are you anticipating, however, from this Senate package?
RICK NEWMAN: I guess the big question is, at this point is, the minimum wage was the one thing where the Democrats really did have some major internal disagreements. So that's off the table simply because of the Senate rules and the finding that they cannot put a minimum wage in this type of bill. So are there other things they're going to argue about? I guess we'll find out in the next couple of days. There does not seem to be a lot of disagreement about the other things, which include a lot of aid to states and cities. That could be as much as $350 billion.
The two headline items we've been talking about a lot-- it looks like most Americans are going to get another check for $1,400 and the Congress is going to extend those unemployment benefits. The House Bill does that through the end of August. I think there's a chance the Senate could extend that by one month. With the minimum wage legislation or language out of that, they actually have a little bit more money to play with.
So it looks like the Senate is probably going to, more or less, approve what the House voted on. Then it has to go back to the House because it's a different set of legislation without the minimum wage. But the goal among Democrats is to have this signed into law by President Biden within two weeks. And I think the odds are pretty good that's going to happen.
KRISTIN MYERS: I don't think it's too often you and I have chatted about things that are happening out of Washington, DC. And we've heard sounds like the Senate is pretty much going to pass the bill that they had been given by the House, especially lately.
I'm wondering, however, what you think the appetite is going to be once this stimulus package is passed for another stimulus package. Because we have continued to hear that the economy still struggles. There are still economic scars and that folks are still going to need some more assistance in 2021. Once this package is passed, do you think that there's going to be an appetite to do it again?
RICK NEWMAN: There certainly is an appetite. Whether they're going to be able to pull it off, I think, is the big question. So the Biden administration has been saying, look, we consider this a relief bill. That's the word they use-- "relief," rather than "stimulus." Because they want to save that word, "stimulus," for the next bill, which is going to be a lot of infrastructure spending, including a lot of green energy spending that Biden wants to be a hallmark of his administration.
So we hear all the time there is, in general, bipartisan support for infrastructure spending. But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy to do. And Democrats continue to say we want to go big on the next bill as well. So it could be another $2 trillion or more than $2 trillion. They're not going to be able to borrow all of that money, however, as they are going to be able to do for the current bill. Because it won't technically count as an emergency measure. So they're going to have to come up with some way to pay for at least some of that, and that means tax increases. And now you're talking a very complicated process.
Even-- there are even some Democrats probably in the Senate who won't be comfortable with the tax increases President Biden wants for that huge infrastructure bill. So, right now is about as easy as it's going to be for Joe Biden to pass legislation with this narrow one-vote majority in the Senate. The next bill is going to be a lot harder.
KRISTIN MYERS: Really quickly, Rick. I have, like, 30 seconds. I'm wondering how much this is a test, really, for the Biden presidency. Because coronavirus was one huge thing that he had to contend with. And then stimulus was the other one.
RICK NEWMAN: You know, look at the expectations they're setting. Let's say Joe Biden-- I mean, he looks like he is going to get $1.9 trillion or close to that, at least 1.5. That's a huge amount of spending. So even that, he would have to be able to declare victory. The next bill, let's say that he can't get to a trillion. Let's say he can only get $600 billion. That's more than Donald Trump was able to get for infrastructure. So if I were Joe Biden around the time the 2022 midterms come around, I guess I'd be saying, look, at least I did a lot more than the prior guy.
KRISTIN MYERS: And that's saying something. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman, as always, thanks for breaking everything down for us.