With its price tag now likely to be as high as $2.3 trillion, most Senate conservatives are nonetheless expected to support the pending stimulus that is on their desks Sunday evening.
With fallout from the coronavirus dealing a devastating blow to the economy, the Senate package is now almost sure to include $350 billion in the form of loans to small businesses and $500 billion in the form of cash payments to individual citizens.
“This is the biggest thing in the package and this is the hardest thing for me to support,” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R.-Okla. told Newsmax shortly before debate began on the measure.
By far one of the most conservative of the 53 Republican senators, Inhofe seemed to be speaking for most of his fellow lawmakers on the right in reluctantly agreeing to support a package that dwarfs Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 ($831 billion) to end the recession at the time.
The current package, in fact, is actually larger than the present size of the deficit ($1.6 trillion).
But, given the impact of the virus on small businesses and the stock market, few conservative lawmakers are likely to oppose the stimulus measure.
A week ago, an earlier stimulus package costing $500 billion sailed through the Senate by a vote of 90-to-8.
Although figures could change by the time of the final vote, it is expected that the bill will provide $1200 in cash for single Americans, $2400 for a husband-and-wife couple, and $500 for each child.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.