It’s watch and wait on a COVID relief bill. We now think that COVID relief is more likely than not to pass with a year-end funding bill likely due on December 18, but we don’t necessarily think a deal will surface until early next week.
Another round of $1,200 tax rebate checks is in the mix and could dramatically increase the size of the package that the Senate Majority Leader is willing to offer. But as yet, there is no consensus among Senate Republicans as to what they are ready to do.
In the meantime, the $908 billion bipartisan plan is something of a sideshow and a distraction. Parts of that plan might get into the final offer, but not the whole plan. We don’t subscribe to giddy optimism. A measure of the true state of play may come from a CQ survey of top congressional staff last week. Less than half of them thought a COVID relief bill would pass by the end of the year.