Morning Consult: “While Republicans offered the lowest amount of support, more than half of GOP voters still back the stimulus package at 60 percent. Thirty percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose the package.”
“Republicans tasked with winning back the House majority in 2022 see an opportunity in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that Democrats plan to push through Congress in the coming weeks, most likely without GOP support,” Roll Call reports.
“In an early indication of the attacks to come, the GOP is road-testing messages in battleground districts. A poll… focused on whether Congress should pass legislation encouraging schools to safely reopen and the possibility that aid payments could go to undocumented immigrants.”
“More than 150 senior executives from some of the largest American companies across several major industries have lined up behind President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package,” CNN reports.
“The group of executives includes the top executives representing some of the powerful business interests in the US, ranging from bank and investment firms like Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, to technology companies like Google, Intel and IBM, to hospitality companies like Loews Hotels & Co. and airlines including American and United Airlines. Top executives from real estate, insurance and utility firms also signed on to the letter.”
“Republicans are making a risky but calculated bet: that voters won’t punish them for opposing a popular $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill,” Politico reports.
“With President Joe Biden and Democrats barely even seeking their input, Republicans are now gambling that there will be more backlash over schools staying closed, the Covid bill’s massive price tag and a partisan process. And with the GOP closing ranks to oppose the aid package, it could become the first pandemic relief plan that garners zero support from Republicans — following a year with five bipartisan bills and more than $3 trillion spent on fighting the virus.”
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are proposing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10, but only if businesses are required to use the internet-based E-Verify system designed to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers, USA Today reports.
“Although the measure which was unveiled Tuesday morning is unlikely to go far in a Democratic Congress pushing for a $15 minimum wage, the bill from Romney and Cotton represents the most serious Republican proposal yet on an issue that has emerged as a key priority for progressive leaders.”
A senior House Republican tells CNN not to expect any Republican votes for President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill this week: “Personally I expect zero. No effort to reach out to House Republicanss by the majority or White House. Why would any Republican vote for this?”
If so, that would match the zero House Republican votes for President Barack Obama’s stimulus package during the financial crisis in 2009.
Bloomberg: “Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said President Joe Biden favors boosting taxes on companies, and signaled openness to considering raising rates on capital gains, while steering clear of a wealth levy.”
“The administration is looking to boost the corporate tax to 28%, Yellen said. The Treasury chief said last week that revenue measures would be needed to help pay for Biden’s planned longer-term economic reconstruction program to help address concerns about debt sustainability.”
“As increasingly widespread covid-19 vaccinations signal a possible return to normal life, the United States is moving toward an unusual experiment that could produce an economy many Americans will not recognize — for better or for worse,” the Washington Post reports.
“Factories are humming and consumers are spending again, signs that the United States could emerge from the current health crisis with its strongest growth in decades. Goldman Sachs expects the economy to expand this year at an annual rate of 7 percent, the fastest pace since President Ronald Reagan proclaimed ‘morning again in America’ in 1984.”
“The question is whether that fast-paced rebound can be made to last, freeing the nation from the low-growth rut it has plowed for most of the past 20 years, or will instead ignite the sort of inflation that has not been seen since the 1970s.”
John Harwood: Is Biden’s stimulus package too big?
“Republicans are struggling to persuade voters to oppose President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan, which enjoys strong, bipartisan support nationwide even as it is moving through Congress with just Democratic backing,” the New York Times reports.
“Democrats who control the House are preparing to approve the package by the end of next week, with the Senate aiming to soon follow with its own party-line vote before unemployment benefits are set to lapse in mid-March…”
“Republican leaders, searching for a way to derail the proposal, on Friday led a final attempt to tarnish the package, labeling it a ‘payoff to progressives.'”
CNN: Here’s what’s in the House Democrats’ stimulus relief plan.
Financial Times: “If Biden’s coronavirus recovery plans are vindicated, they will demonstrate it is possible to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic and that advanced economies have been overly obsessed with inflation for the past 30 years. It will put government back at the heart of day-to-day economic management.”
“If the plan comes off, it will show that unnecessary timidity in recent decades has let millions suffer unnecessary unemployment, starved many areas of opportunities for improved living standards and widened inequalities.”
“But if the strategy fails, ending in overheating, high inflation, financial instability and the economics of the 1970s, the US experiment of 2021 will go down as one of the biggest own goals of economic policymaking since François Mitterrand’s failed reflation in France in 1981.”
Associated Press: “Yellen rejected arguments being made by Republicans that President Joe Biden’s proposal is too big following the nearly $4 trillion in government support approved last year.”
“She said that even with the support already approved, the country still has 9 million people out of work and another 4 million who have dropped out of the labor force. She noted that the Congressional Budget Office has projected that without the Biden plan, it could take the economy until 2024 to get back to full employment. With the extra support, that goal could be achieved by next year, she said.”
“When Joe Biden met with a group of mayors and governors last week he bluntly told them to get ready for a legislative defeat: his proposed minimum wage hike was unlikely to happen, he said, at least in the near term,” Politico reports.
“Corporate leaders are more upbeat about the U.S. economy than at any time in the past 17 years,” Bloomberg reports.
“The Conference Board measure of CEO confidence, in collaboration with the Business Council, jumped to 73 in the first quarter. That’s up from 34 a year ago during the height of the pandemic and business closures. A reading above 50 reflects more positive than negative responses.”
“Democrats are bracing for an internal battle over raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as they grappled with the political and procedural constraints on reaching a long-held goal of the party’s progressive wing,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan proposes to do by 2025, faces opposition from some Democratic lawmakers and parliamentary hurdles. Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote in the 50-50 Senate on the relief package, which also calls for sending many Americans a $1,400 direct check, bolstering federal unemployment aid, and offering funds for vaccine distribution and testing.”
Washington Post: “Biden’s next package could be far pricier than the coronavirus bill. Although plans remain fluid, it’s expected to center on a major infrastructure investment, while also tackling other priorities such as clean energy, domestic manufacturing, and child and elder care. However, as the next must-pass bill in a divided Congress, where legislative opportunities will be scarce, it has unleashed a torrent of other demands, as advocates for issues from climate change to immigration push to get included.”
“The cacophony of competing demands is already threatening to divide Democrats who have largely united behind the coronavirus relief bill.”
“Senior Democratic officials have discussed proposing as much as $3 trillion in new spending as part of what they envision as a wide-ranging jobs and infrastructure package.”
“The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections,” the AP reports.
“The job market has stalled, with employers having added a mere 49,000 jobs in January after cutting workers in December. Nearly 10 million jobs remain lost to the pandemic.”
Washington Post: “Businesses are planning for a future where more people are working from home, traveling less for business, or replacing workers with robots. All of these modifications mean many workers will not be able to do the same job they did before the pandemic.”
“As Democrats try to plot a way forward to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced that he’s working on a separate bill to increase the long stagnant minimum wage while ‘ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants,'” NBC News reports.
“Romney said he’s working on the bill with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and it also includes a provision for the minimum wage to ‘increase automatically with inflation.'”