Harris made the remarks to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. “The moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures are about to end. The extension that people need for benefits is very real. And the people here in Washington, D.C., have got to stop living in a bubble,” she said, according to the show.
“The people have a right to expect that their leaders in Congress see them, and act in their best interest.”
Harris’s comments came after months of haggling between Democrats and Republicans in Congress failed to produce a deal. The two sides remain far apart on the overall price tag of a plan, although a bipartisan effort to break the logjam with a compromise amount has gotten some backers.
Here’s what you need to know:
Harris Says ‘The People Are Suffering’
Harris said other strong words to Roberts about Congressional inaction. “I don’t understand the hesitation. The people are suffering,” she said.
She acknowledge to Roberts that working with Congress is critical. Harris is a U.S. Senator.
“If we are to get the things done that the American people want, like getting people back to work, reopening small businesses, supporting schools to reopen, investing in infrastructure, which is gonna be the creation of millions of jobs, investing in broadband… If we’re able to do all of that, it’s gonna be because Congress and our administration work together,” Harris said, according to GMA.
There Were Some Signs of Hope in Congress for a Second Bill
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote on Twitter, “The American people need more help. We need vaccine distribution money. We need to re-up the Paycheck Protection Program to save jobs. We need to continue to provide for laid-off Americans. Congressional leaders on both sides are going to keep working until we get it done.”
According to CNN, on December 16, McConnell said that both sides “made major headway toward hammering out a targeted pandemic relief package that would be able to pass both chambers with bipartisan majorities. We agreed we will not leave town until we’ve made law.”
CNN reported that the roughly $900 billion bipartisan plan under consideration would provide an “additional $300 a week in jobless benefits and $330 billion for small business loans,” and possibly $600 stimulus checks for qualifying Americans, although that hasn’t been completely hashed out yet.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Josh Hawley previously joined together to push $1,200 stimulus checks. “When you ask people on the street ‘What is the most important thing the government can do in this terrible, terrible moment?’ They will say, ‘Give us some help. We need some help right now to pay the bills,'” Sanders told CNN.
On December 8, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed McConnell, but she indicated openness to the bipartisan plan, saying, “The bipartisan negotiations involving Senators and Members of the House have made good progress and must be allowed to proceed without Leader McConnell’s obstruction.”