In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics.
What's the status on the coronavirus relief bill in Congress?
Well, we're here in front of the US Capitol where there's not a whole lot going on to resolve the standoff over for further fiscal stimulus. There was a brief burst of activity earlier this week when the Problem Solvers Caucus came together with a bipartisan proposal that would probably pass both chambers of Congress. But House leadership quickly shot that down. They don't seem too interested in giving Donald Trump a big fiscal stimulus just six weeks before the election. President Trump, for his part, has been encouraging Republicans to go big. But Republicans seem like they mostly want to go home so they can get out of here, fund the government and go campaign for November. So, we end this week where we ended last week. Not a lot of progress being made. Probably nothing is going to happen here.
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Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics:
How is coronavirus jeopardizing the legitimacy of a 2020 presidential election?
Well, what coronavirus is doing is a lot of states are worrying about people who aren't going to want to come to the polling places in the fall, and they're worried about a shortage of polling workers who are going to want to come out and volunteer to get sick by interacting with a bunch people in person. So, what they're doing is they're looking at making a shift to vote-by-mail. Most states allow some form of absentee balloting today. Five states just automatically mail you a ballot and they don't do any in-person voting. But the challenge here is that a lot of states are unprepared for the sharp increase that's expected. In the last election, 25% of ballots were cast by mail. You may see 50, 60 or even more percent of ballots cast by mail this time, which could overwhelm election administration, which happens at the state level.
Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective on US politics:
How likely is bipartisan action against Russia in light of Taliban bounty reports?
I think it's probably unlikely. One of the challenges here is that there's some conflict of the intelligence and anything that touches on the issue of President Trump and Russia is extremely toxic for him. Republicans have so far been tolerant of that and willing to stop any new sanctions coming. I think unless the political situation or the allegations get much worse or more obvious, that stalemate probably remains.
Can trump stop Robert Mueller from testifying on Capitol Hill?
No, he can't stop it. He could try to slow it down with legal challenges, maybe even invoke executive privilege, but he cannot stop it.
What's up with all of Trump's tweets about China over the weekend?
I'm told by an administration official that Trump is trying to force China's hand to get a deal done by Friday, it could backfire. The Chinese do not like these kind of tactics.
Can Jared Kushner get his immigration plan through Capitol Hill?
No, there's people lining up on left and right already opposing it. Immigration had proved incredibly challenging over the last decade to get anything done. And Jared Kushner is not going to be the one who solves that.
Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg a moderate Democrat?
Well it's tough to slot him into any particular category but he's definitely more moderate than Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. He's also for 'Medicare for All' and fixing the environment. But he does care about debt and deficits and the long term impact on his generation.
And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence Microsoft On The Issues.