House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for resolution on a coronavirus relief package before the end of September — and expressing a dark outlook on what may happen if that’s not the case.
Pelosi told reporters August 12 on Capitol Hill that “people will die” if negotiations continue to stall to the end of next month — at which time government funds are set to expire, CNN reported.
Congress announced August 14 that it is taking a break until after Labor Day, following both chambers’ failure to reach a self-imposed deadline on August 7, Heavy reported.
Although the House is aiming to return for votes in the middle of September, it could potentially do so earlier if it reaches an agreement with the White House, CNN continued.
But negotiations are still very much at a standstill, Pelosi indicated to MSNBC.
“We have a vast difference in our values,” she said during an August 12 interview with Craig Melvin.
“In terms of the negotiations or lack thereof, I was just writing to my colleagues about how children are affected by these negotiations,” Pelosi continued. “When commentators say to me: Why can’t you resolve your differences? Because we’re miles apart.
The House speaker recently doubled down on her offer for Republicans to increase their relief package, the HEALS Act, by $1 trillion in return for Democrats lowering theirs by the same amount.
Democrats have been pushing for $1 trillion of a $3 trillion package, the HEROES Act, to go toward states and municipalities, while Republicans have remained firm on their stance of a total package not exceeding $1 trillion.
Pelosi expressed to CNBC that she will not “restart discussions until Republicans increase their aid offer by $1 trillion.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Americans Most Likely Won’t See A Second Stimulus Check Until Late September
As Congress continues to debate certain aspects of the upcoming package, like overall cost and state and local funding, Forbes said it’s “very unlikely” a bill could pass prior to both chambers returning next month.
“Americans should not expect to see another stimulus check until late September at the earliest. It’s more likely that discussions will continue into October, or even later,” Heavy previously reported, citing Forbes.
President Donald Trump issued several executive orders on August 8 aimed at providing relief for Americans struggling through the pandemic, according to USA Today. The orders targeted unemployment and payroll tax cuts, among other things, but did not address immigration services or stimulus checks.
Trump Blames Democrats for the Delay, Citing Their Push for Mail-In Ballots
The president is blaming Democrats for the stall in the second coronavirus stimulus package, citing their demands for funding for universal mail-in ballots, Fox News reported.
The post office, projected to be inundated with mail-in ballots in the upcoming election due to safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, has become a hot-button issue among legislation negotiations, The Hill added.
Democrats are seeking $25 billion in additional aid in the next relief bill for the United States Postal Service, according to the outlet.
Trump told Fox News last Thursday that the funding would cause “the greatest fraud in history” in November.
“It’s their fault,” Trump expressed to FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “They want $3.5 billion for something that’s fraudulent … for the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots.”
“But if they don’t get those two items, then they can’t have mail-in ballots,” he added.
The president then softened his stance the following day, indicating he would approve of the $25 billion for the post office as long as Democrats made concessions on certain White House wants, Fox News said.
“Sure, if they give us what we want,” he told Fox News’ John Roberts during a press conference when asked if he would compromise. “And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.”
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