The Corner

Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans Warm to Phase IV

Republican senators have been cool toward “Phase IV” legislation providing economic relief and stimulus. They did not want to be in the position of passing something in May or June only to face demand for a Phase V bill in August; and they wanted to see how the economy was recovering before passing anything.

But now they think enough time has passed to ensure that they won’t have to pass expensive bill after bill before the election. They’re facing rising pressure to do something. And bad polling for Republicans up and down the ticket is concentrating minds. So it looks like they’re going to try to pass a bill next month. The most contentious issues, it seems pretty likely, will be (1) whether to scale back unemployment-insurance levels and (2) how much aid to give states and localities, and with what strings.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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