Ramesh Ponnuru reports that Republicans are finally warming up to a follow-up stimulus bill:
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.
That would have been my guess too. I can live with UI benefits that are scaled back from the very generous levels of the last stimulus bill, but we desperately need solid levels of assistance to states and cities. I still like my idea of using this as an opportunity to fully federalize Medicaid, which would provide about the right amount of assistance and improve Medicaid at the same time, but I don’t suppose that’s in the cards. In lieu of that, our best bet is to simply hand out large sums of money and try to keep the strings at a reasonable level.