Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for blocking millions of struggling Americans from receiving pandemic assistance.
For months, Congressional legislators have been at an impasse in reaching a deal for a second coronavirus stimulus package. After several unsuccessful attempts, including the Democrats’ HEROES Act, Republicans’ HEALS Act and Senate GOPs’ ‘Skinny Bill,’ negotiations have yet again come to a halt.
On September 16, McConnell took to Twitter to share his frustrations regarding the stalemate. The Kentucky Republican blamed Pelosi for the deadlock, accusing her of “political games,” writing:
Even Speaker Pelosi’s own House Democrats are sick of her blocking COVID-19 relief. But she insists anything short of her multi-trillion wish list would make Democrats ‘a cheap date.’ What a joke. People are hurting. They need help. Not the Speaker’s pointless political games.
Even Speaker Pelosi’s own House Democrats are sick of her blocking COVID-19 relief.
But she insists anything short of her multi-trillion wish list would make Democrats “a cheap date.” What a joke.
People are hurting. They need help. Not the Speaker's pointless political games.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 16, 2020
“Centrist Democrats” have also become “increasingly frustrated” with the House speaker’s harsh inflexibility during negotiations, the New York Times reported.
Here’s what you need to know about the stimulus talk stalemate:
The Overall Price is the Biggest Sticking Point Among Negotiators
While House Democrats have been pushing for a $3 trillion package, the HEROES Act, Senate Republicans are advocating a maximum price tag of $1 trillion, Heavy previously reported.
When Republicans recently proposed a “skinny” version of their $1 trillion package, which sought to inject an additional $300 billion in pandemic assistance, Democrats turned it down in search of more funding, according to Forbes.
During a CNN interview, Pelosi indicated that she was proud of Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer for rejecting “that terrible skinny bill to a massive problem that we have.”
A Bipartisan Group Recently Proposed a $1.5 Trillion Bill
The Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of 50 U.S. House members, unveiled a roughly $1.5 trillion stimulus bill, dubbed “March to Common Ground,” on Tuesday, September 15.
The bill seeks to inject $2 trillion in additional aid to the economy, including another round of stimulus checks and extended federal unemployment benefits of $450 per week for eight weeks.
In an attempt to re-ignite negotiations and push lawmakers over the edge, March to Common Ground faced backlash from top Democratic leaders just hours after its debut.
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.
Pelosi Has Vowed to Stay in Session Until a Resolution is Reached
On September 15, Pelosi assured that her chamber would not leave for the November elections until a legislation agreement is reached, according to CNBC.
“We have to stay here until we have a bill,” Pelosi told lawmakers during a conference call, The New York Times added, citing two people “familiar with the remarks.”
Nonetheless, the House speaker did not disclose any upcoming negotiations involving the White House or Senate Republicans.