The next stimulus check might just come about as a result of a rare alignment of positioning between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, September 16, Trump tweeted an accusation that Democrats were “heartless” for not compromising more aggressively to achieve the next stimulus proposal. In that same tweet, he advised Republicans to offer “higher numbers” for the next stimulus check.
Trump’s tweet reads in full, “Democrats are ‘heartless’. They don’t want to give STIMULUS PAYMENTS to people who desperately need the money, and whose fault it was NOT that the plague came in from China. Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!).”
Instead of acknowledging Trump’s accusation against her group, Pelosi took a stance that might have surprised some: she agreed with Trump’s message and reinforced his call for larger numbers from the GOP. In a joint statement, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in part:
We are encouraged that after months of the Senate Republicans insisting on shortchanging the massive needs of the American people, President Trump is now calling on Republicans to ‘go for the much higher numbers’ in the next coronavirus relief package. We look forward to hearing from the President’s negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway with a bill that is equal to the massive health and economic crises gripping our nation.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Wants the House to Remain in Session Until a Compromise Is Reached on Another Stimulus Package
On Tuesday, Pelosi told members of her caucus that she wanted the House to remain in session until a compromise was reached on the next stimulus package, CBS News reported. In an interview with CNBC, Pelosi said, “I just got off the call with my colleagues. We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement, an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.”
At the same time, Pelosi has been less than friendly toward another stimulus proposal brought forth by a bipartisan group in Congress. The proposal, which came from members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, would provide the American economy with approximately $1.5 trillion in funding, including another round of stimulus checks.
A group of Democratic lawmakers, including Pelosi, quickly denounced the proposal. In a statement released by the House Committee on Appropriations, the lawmakers said the new proposal “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.” The statement continued, “Unfortunately, today’s proposal retreats from these critical policies and fails to respond to additional issues that have emerged since May. When it comes to bolstering the public health system, supporting state and local governments, and assisting struggling families, the Problem Solvers’ proposal leaves too many needs unmet.”
Representative Max Rose, a freshman Democrat, voiced his frustration with the behavior by Democratic leaders following this statement. He told CNN, “You saw all the reasons why people hate politics. Because they are rejecting a bold bipartisan measure outright and insinuating things are not in there when they actually are and just continuing to kick the can down the road over and over and over again. … It’s deeply frustrating.”
Trump Showed Tepid Support for the Stimulus Proposal From the House Problem Solvers Caucus
Pres. Trump claims the "Democrat-run states are the ones that are doing badly" but "as the president of everybody" he claims he'd like to try to work with Speaker Pelosi on another round of stimulus for Americans: "I would like to see it happen." https://t.co/4bN7vkGC7x pic.twitter.com/dodBtrHv9Y
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 16, 2020
In a White House briefing on Wednesday, Trump reiterated his desire to see higher stimulus check numbers in the next proposal and even offered some vague support for the bipartisan proposal from the House Problem Solvers Caucus.
He said in part:
So the Problem Solvers came up with — it’s a group of people in Congress, as you know. You know them all. I know them all. They’re very good people. I guess you’d consider them dead center. But in many cases, they’re not. They’re left. They’re right. But they came up with this idea, and I think they’re well on their way to suggesting some pretty good things.
Now, I heard Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t want to leave until we have an agreement. She’s come a long way. That’s great. If she said that, she’s come a long way. I agree with her. We should have an agreement. People should be helped, and they should be helped as rapidly as possible. And I think it’s going to happen. I think it’s very important.
Later in the same briefing, he added, “I want to see people get money. I want to see — it wasn’t their fault that this happened. It was China’s fault, you know? … So I’d like to see the larger number. Yeah, I would like to see it. There are some things I disagree with, but I’m sure they can be negotiated.”