Several members of Congress expressed optimism that a pandemic stimulus deal would be reached following the Nov. 3 election.
One of them is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who told local news outlet WCNC that getting a bipartisan agreement on the stimulus package is a top priority.
“I think the number-one goal for me is another stimulus package until we get a vaccine,” he said, blaming lawmakers not backing President Donald Trump for the impasse.
Republicans and Democrats disagree on a number of issues, and neither side is willing to concede. In recent days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Trump administration officials have traded blame over who is responsible.
Graham, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the station that the pressure will be relieved after Election Day, meaning members of Congress will be more willing to negotiate in good faith.
Graham said, “I think as soon as the election is over there’s going to be a bipartisan breakthrough on a big package somewhere around $2 trillion that will help the economy … and after that, we have to come together as a nation.”
Other lawmakers expressed optimism over a possible deal in the coming weeks.
“The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out, but I think either way we’ll do something. The question is how much,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Republican Majority Whip, told The Hill on Friday.
“I’m certainly hopeful,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) said, according to the same website. He said he is looking forward to what the Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has to say “depending on what happens in the election.”
And Pelosi, one of the main stimulus negotiators, said she wants a deal with the White House.
“We’ll have—we will—well, I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration,” she said, suggesting that Biden will win the upcoming election.
In the lame-duck period of Congress after the election, there is a chance a deal could get passed, Pelosi told Bloomberg News.
“The president has said we would have an agreement after the election,” she said, pointing to statements that President Donald Trump made earlier this week.