Why US COVID relief package progress is unlikely before January
Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on US politics:
With 250,000 Americans dead of COVID and case counts rising, is there any sign of a federal relief package on the way?
And the answer is a solid maybe. The interesting thing is even after the election, neither party has really changed their views on what they want in a stimulus. The Democrats are still holding to their $2.5 trillion number, and the Republicans are saying they want something much smaller and more targeted. President Trump is nowhere to be found in these discussions. He's busy litigating the outcome of an election he lost. Vice President Biden, the incoming President on January 20th, has indicated he basically supports the Democrat's position. He can probably be the deal breaker here. If he wants to tell the Democrats to come down with their number, that could potentially drive compromise with the Republicans. Negotiations haven't really gone anywhere though in the last six months, and I'd frankly be surprised at this point if we saw relief before the fifth January runoff election in Georgia, which will determine control of the Senate.
Why is everyone so mad at California Governor Gavin Newsom?
Well, the problem is, Gavin Newsom's having a hard time following his own rules. There's restrictions in place across California, mask mandates, curfews, lockdowns are happening, and the Governor went and celebrated a birthday party for a friend at a $450 a meal restaurant in Napa Valley. So, I think there's a lot of people saying that he's not exactly leading by example. Similar criticism was levied against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week for hosting a large dinner for incoming freshmen congressmen inside, that was later to converted to a to-go meal after some blow back on Twitter. So, there's a problem here, where many Americans are stuck inside, are being told to stay at home, are being told to cancel Thanksgiving, and political leaders aren't following their own rules.