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House Democrats unveil $2.2T stimulus package ahead of first presidential debate

House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion stimulus package. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins the On the Move panel to discuss.

Video Transcript

- We want to start with the latest on stimulus and yet another attempt to get it through. House Democrats late yesterday unveiled a new plan. It's $2.2 trillion, a little bit lower than their $3 trillion plan, and it's got a second round of $1,200 checks. Rick, you have been watching this situation. Does this one have any more chance of getting through than the other attempts that we have seen?

RICK NEWMAN: I don't think so. I think part of the plan here by Nancy Pelosi is to make the Senate Republicans an offer they can't accept by just making the price tag for this bill too high. So she's come down from the $3.4 trillion bill that passed in May. So this supposedly will be about $2.2 trillion. And you know, the Republicans in the Senate, they have not passed anything, but they have indicated that they would accept around $500 billion in stimulus.

Worth pointing out, 500 billion, it sounds like a small number compared with 2.2 trillion, but it would actually be a meaningful boost to the economy. And if we were just doing this in a pragmatic way, such as the way you might run a business, you might say, oh, OK, well we can agree on 500 billion right now. Let's get that pumped into the economy, and then maybe see what we can do in a month or two months. Go after the election, and maybe do some more, if necessary.

That is not what I think is likely to happen. We know the Senate right now consumed with the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. And then a lot of these lawmakers are going to leave two or three or four weeks before the election. Some of them have to campaign. So I think we're not going to see anything until after the election. And I will make a prediction, I'll bet you that, after the election, Nancy Pelosi becomes more willing to come down on that $2.2 trillion number and get something done.

- Forgive me for putting this in political terms, but the people who need this, for instance 36,000 plus employees of the airlines get laid off on October 1st, and there are thousands more in the airlines who still won't be getting a paycheck, but might lose their benefits as part of all of this, does that calculus play into the election, or are those people already hurting, and Congress is saying goodbye anyway?

RICK NEWMAN: You know, obviously nobody on the Senate on the Republican or Democratic side is willing to say exactly what their calculus is, but I mean, they call this the silly season for a reason, Adam. I mean, this is the time in the congressional calendar when it's almost impossible to get anything done, certainly on a bipartisan basis. I mean, it was a lot easier six months ago, in March and April, when Congress passed three stimulus bills.

I think the posturing becomes so overwhelming at this point that you've got each side-- basically, each side is trying to figure out how to make the other look bad. And by the way, it will hurt Trump. I mean, it actually hurts Trump if there is not any more stimulus, because anything that would help people in the swing states would make them more inclined to vote for the incumbent. Everybody on Capitol Hill knows that. So I think if you're somebody who's really hurting, you are-- you're just kind of screwed, at least until after November 3rd.

- Rick, I want to ask about the debate, which is tonight, as well. It feels to me like Joe Biden has more to lose here. In other words, that President Trump's support has sort of calcified where it is, whereas Biden needs perhaps some more enthusiasm and voter turnout. What's your take?

RICK NEWMAN: I think that's probably fair, Julie. You know, I mean, Biden is the front runner at this point. He leads nationally by, I don't know, six to eight points, and he leads by, let's say-- let's call it between four and five points in most of the swing states that will turn the election. So in a way, Trump is the one who sort of has nothing to lose.

I mean, I think we're pretty sure Trump is going to come out with guns blazing. It's going to probably be hostile. He's going to be attacking Biden, bringing a lot of attention to Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, who, by the way, has never worked in government.

So Biden has to figure out a good way to defend that and get that back to the issues he wants to talk about. What Biden wants to talk about, health care, that's a big deal for Americans. People are losing their health care instead of getting health care right now. And we obviously have a pandemic and a recession related to that pandemic. So Biden wants to keep the focus on those topics, and Trump's going to try to throw him off.

- It will be interesting to see if Biden goes to Trump's progeny, as well, which is fair game since some of them do work in government.