CORONAVIRUS USA

Second stimulus check: why Biden says Republicans are afraid of passing bill?

As President Donald Trump continues to deny defeat, and a smooth transition of power is proving difficult, Joe Biden is pushing for action on a relief package.

Second stimulus check: why Biden says Republicans are afraid of passing bill?
ROBERTO SCHMIDT AFP

The year 2020 has been a horrific one for millions of people around the globe. Many have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic, while others who have been infected will continue to suffer from the effects of it.

Then there has been the economic impact, and here in the United States the support for businesses and individuals from the federal government has been a much-debated topic.

Fear of Trump holding back stimulus relief - Biden

An early response with the CARES Act saw stimulus payments and other benefits paid out, but there was always an understanding that this would be followed up if the pandemic was not controlled. Despite numerous statements from President Donald Trump claiming that it had been - and messaging that was clearly focused on winning an election - the truth was somewhat grimmer.

"Hopefully, when he's gone, they'll be more willing to do what they know should be done, has to be done, in order to save the communities they live in,"

President-elect Joe Biden

Now that the election has been decided, President-elect Joe Biden has not wasted a minute in setting out his stall on how to tackle the ongoing virus spread, and as part of his overall plan his administration is desperate to see further Economic Impact Payments made to needy Americans.

It forms an element of his desired relief package to aid the economy through this difficult time and with Democrats and Republicans having been unable to break the impasse on the subject thus far, the man who will soon lead the country is making his position clear, pointing to the Republicans’ “fear of retribution” of the lame duck president.

"Hopefully, when he's gone, they'll be more willing to do what they know should be done, has to be done, in order to save the communities they live in," Biden said during a virtual event with health workers at the very frontline, referring to Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump is pictured below the empty space where Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to join

On screen | US President Donald Trump is pictured below the empty space where Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to join, during the online Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in Kuala Lumpur on November 20, 2020.

This concern is hugely worrying, but far from surprising. The man who wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ has been accused by many of using bullying rather than negotiation tactics to get what he wants, and his antics before and throughout his tenure in the Oval Office have demonstrated that he is comfortable being aggressive towards those who don’t do what he wants. His latest firing of cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs just one of many.

Biden positive about making progress

The good news message for people in need of support is that Biden is feeling optimistic about progress being made. The bad news is that it may not come until Trump is gone, and that does not happen until 20 January 2021. The most recent comments from the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reiterated the huge gap in budget expectations between parties, may give a sense that no real progress is being made, but we must consider the influencing factors running in the background.

In general, both sides of the aisle appear to be in favour of a deal, and with a leader who is committed to finding a way through the negotiations for the right reasons, confidence is high that it can be reached quickly after the inauguration.