Congress is unlikely to enact another economic stimulus bill until late July or early August, Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s vice president of legislative affairs predicted Thursday.
Speaking at the trade group’s virtual “State of the Industry” conference, Thaler said, however, that with the legislative authority for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program expiring on June 30, the House and Senate might try to extend the program in a smaller bill.
“This could happen before a large [stimulus bill] if there can be bipartisan agreement,” he said.
The House has passed a large stimulus measure that includes aid to state and local government, as well as a host of other items. According to Thaler, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants a bipartisan bill, that House bill likely is dead.
Thaler said it also is unclear when the Senate might consider the nomination of Kyle Hauptman for a seat on the NCUA board. He said that it is difficult to advance some nominees during an election year. He added, however, that Hauptman is employed as a staffer for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee. That makes him a known entity for members of the panel, Thaler said. The Banking Committee would consider Hauptman’s nomination before it goes to the Senate floor.
Thaler said that because of the coronavirus crisis, Congress has been busier than it usually is in an election year. “The pandemic has forced Congress to get things done,” he said.
He added, however, that the House and Senate will not be in session during the Republican and Democratic conventions this summer and members will want to go home to campaign early this fall. “The last 60 days before an election is usually a political sprint,” he said.