Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not believe that President Donald Trump will win re-election, and his actions regarding a second coronavirus stimulus bill reflect his pessimism, according to Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. He claimed in a webinar that McConnell does not want to push forward a contentious COVID relief bill that could potentially cause schisms in his party because he is hoping to keep Republicans united in the face of a potential Democratic victory, per Business Insider.
“I think McConnell expects Trump to lose, and therefore, for him to spend political capital to support Trump by forcing through a bill which would put his own leadership position at risk after the election, to me, doesn’t make any sense,” the economist explained.
Currently, Democrats in the House have put forward a mammoth $2.2 trillion plan, which McConnell has called “outlandish” and said would not pass the upper chamber.
However, Shepardson claimed that McConnell was largely hostile to the proposal because a large number of conservative senators are against the idea of such a generous package. Already, estimates from this past spring suggest that the country has spent around $6 trillion in COVID-related measures, including the $2.25 trillion CARES Act, as reported by The Washington Post. The total has likely increased in the ensuing months.
The $6 trillion total amounts to over a quarter of the nation’s GDP, which is a major cause for concern for those who had hoped to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington.
Shepardson stated that dividing the conservatives in the Senate would endanger McConnell’s position of majority leader.
“Splitting the party is death to the leader,” he said, citing both John Boehner and Paul Ryan as leaders who bowed out after overseeing a divided party.
As a result, Shepardson predicted that there would be no stimulus until after the election.
“There will be no bill of any size until after the inauguration. Here we are, in mid-October, looking at money not flowing until mid-February. That means a real void for the economy,” he stated.
The economist added that the changing forecasts on whether or not there would be a stimulus has only increased volatility in markets that have already suffered under COVID. However, Shepardson also predicted that should Democrats regain control of the legislative and executive branches, the resulting stimulus would be huge.
“The bill that I think will pass in February will be enormous. It will be $2 trillion-plus. It might even be the $3.3 trillion,” he said, referencing a proposal that the Democratic House majority passed in May that was shut down in the Senate.
As was previously covered by The Inquisitr, McConnell is allegedly not the only public figure to be pessimistic about a Trump victory, and his own team is worried about their chances come November.