COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Pelosi Pushes Back on Standalone Bills


Getty Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has criticized President Trump for calling off stimulus negotiations and saying he would approve a standalone bill on stimulus checks just hours later.

On Tuesday morning, the president tweeted that stimulus negotiations would be postponed until after the election. The following morning, he backpedaled, writing, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Check…. they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now.”

Speaking on ABC’s The View on Wednesday morning, Pelosi said, “It’s interesting that he said he’d send out those checks if we sent him that bill, because all he has ever wanted in the negotiation was to send out a check with his name on it.”

She continued, “Forget about the virus, forget about our heroes, forget about our children and their need to go to school safely.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Relief to the Airline Industry

According to Fox News, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on Wednesday morning to discuss providing relief to the airline industry. Last week, the outlet noted, U.S. airlines started to cut 35,000 jobs following the termination of a multi-million dollar bailout fund provided under the CARES Act.

A spokesman for Pelosi told Fox, “The secretary inquired about a standalone airline bill. The speaker reminded him that Republicans blocked that bill on Friday & asked him to review the DeFazio bill so that they could have an informed conversation.”

The bill Pelosi was referring to would give relief to airlines by extending the airline PSP (Payroll Support Program) by six months. On Friday, according to a previous Heavy article, the bill was blocked on the House Floor.

DeFazio later said, “The Republican minority killed this legislation, plain and simple. If they had just agreed, tens of thousands of workers for the airlines — flight attendants, they don’t get paid a heck of a lot of money, pilots, yeah they do well, mechanics, gate agents — tens of thousands of those people have been furlough as of yesterday.”

The Impact of Not Sending Out More Relief Aid

According to The Hill, Trump’s decision to halt stimulus package negotiations has “thrust the prospect of future assistance into further uncertainty.”

Speaking on the effect of delaying economic aid to struggling Americans, Claudia Sahm, former senior economic research director at the Federal Reserve, said, “The economy as a whole is not making a lot of progress.”

“There are real human costs — today and years from now — of not sending money out and turning it into a political battle,” Sahm added.

On Wednesday morning, however, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that both sides of the aisle remain at odds over the parameters of a larger stimulus bill.

“It became very obvious over the last couple of days that a comprehensive bill was just going to get to a point where it didn’t have really much Republican support at all and it was more of a Democratic-led bill, which would have been problematic, moreso in the Senate than in the House,” Meadows said.

Failing to provide economic relief, however, could be detrimental to the U.S. economy. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell told The Hill, “Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste. The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods.”

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