House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured on Tuesday that her chamber would not leave for the November elections before agreeing upon another round of coronavirus relief, according to CNBC.
The California Democrat’s comments come at a time when “centrist Democrats” are growing “increasingly frustrated” with their leader as she continues to remain inflexible on negotiations for another stimulus package between the White House and Senate Republican leaders, The New York Times reported.
“We have to stay here until we have a bill,” Pelosi told lawmakers during a conference call on Tuesday morning, September 15, the newspaper said, citing two people “familiar with the remarks.”
She then repeated that sentiment to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, saying, “We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.”
Here’s what you need to know:
House Democrats Are Urging Pelosi to Take Action on a Coronavirus Relief Bill, Regardless of Opposition From the Other Side
Pelosi has recently doubled down on her demands for a bipartisan $2.2 trillion-plus stimulus package, according to Politico, “putting her at odds with moderate members in her caucus.”
More than 100 House Democrats urged Pelosi back in August to pass a smaller relief bill that expanded unemployment benefits, CNBC disclosed.
The 114 legislators addressed Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in a letter seeking a bill that would re-establish the $600 in additional unemployment funds, the outlet added.
“I don’t think the timing is for us to do it right now,” Pelosi responded when asked about the letter during an August 20 interview with PBS.
The House speaker emphasized that she wants upcoming legislation to incorporate state and local aid, food for children and United States Postal Service funding for mail-in ballots during the November election, among other things, according to the PBS transcript.
Frustrated by Stalled Negotiations, a Bipartisan Group Has Unveiled Its Own $1.5 Trillion Bill
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members unveiled a new stimulus package as a last-ditch effort to push lawmakers into reaching a decision on another round of coronavirus relief before the upcoming election.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans, publicized its roughly $1.5 trillion plan, dubbed “March to Common Ground,” on Tuesday, September 15.
The proposal calls for up to $2 trillion in additional aid to the economy and seeks to reignite the currently stagnant negotiations between legislators, stating:
Having seen no progress on a new COVID-19 relief package in four months, and in recognition of Americans’ increasing suffering, the Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) has developed a comprehensive, bipartisan framework to meet the nation’s needs for the next 6-12 months, that can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by the President.
If it were to pass, the bipartisan package would inject at least $1.5 trillion into the economy, as well as re-purpose $130 billion from previous legislation.
The framework has been approved for endorsement by over 75% of the PSC membership, according to an outline of the bill.
The package features another round of stimulus checks, with up to $1,200 for individuals and an additional $500 per child and dependent adult.
The Paycheck Protection Program would also receive an additional $95 billion, while the remaining $145 billion from the first round of the program would be re-appropriated.
The bill would also revamp federal unemployment benefits with up to $450 per week for eight weeks, and then replace lost wages up to $600 per week for five weeks thereafter.
Another $500 billion would be allocated to state and local governments under the new plan, while $100 billion would be funneled toward virus testing and tracing and public health.
Mortgage and rental assistance would receive $25 billion, with $130 billion for schools, $15 billion for the Postal Service and $400 million for elections.
Top Democrats Rejected the Proposal Just Hours After Its Debut
Top Democrats rejected the proposal just hours after it went public, The New York Times reported.
Eight House Democratic committee chairs released an online statement that criticized the plan of falling “short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”
“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,” the legislators wrote in the statement.
“With the general election just 49 days away and the Postal Service sabotaged by the Trump administration, their proposal also abandons our responsibility to protect the life of our democracy.”
The proposal also would not likely pass through the Republican-led Senate, Forbes noted, citing the overall price of the package.
“The main sticking point would be the $1.5 trillion price tag,” the outlet said. “Which could balloon to around $2 trillion in the new year if the crisis hasn’t improved by then because of the way some of the plan’s provisions would be tied to the economy’s performance.”