House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that there is little chance for a coronavirus relief package before the upcoming election.
On Tuesday, October 27, Pelosi slammed the White House for “failing miserably” on its response to the pandemic. The House speaker acknowledged in a letter addressed to her colleagues that a deal is unlikely to happen prior to November 3.
Pelosi blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for having his hand on the “pause button.” McConnell previously expressed that the administration’s $1.8 trillion proposal is “much higher” than what he can sell to his members, according to CNN.
“For a long time now, Congressional Democrats have laid out a strategic plan to crush the virus,” Pelosi said. “The White House and Mitch McConnell have resisted.”
She also criticized White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ earlier sentiments to CNN that the pandemic was uncontrollable.
“Today, the blowback from the Meadows confession made it imperative for the President to declare, ‘After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen,’” she said.
Stimulus negotiators have remained divided over the same sticking points for weeks, including Democrats’ calls for substantial state and local government funding and Republicans’ desires for employer liability shields, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Senate adjourned until November 9 after voting to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Fox Business said. The House is already out. However, Legislators in both chambers could be summoned to vote with 24 hours notice should an agreement be reached, the outlet continued.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Promised the ‘Best Stimulus Package You’ve Ever Seen’ Post-Election
President Donald Trump spoke to reporters on October 27 before departing the White House to campaign. He, too, confirmed that no deal would be reached before November 3 — but he promised “the best” package would be passed afterward.
“After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen,” Trump said.
He flipped the blame for stalled negotiations on Pelosi, accusing her of seeking “bailouts” for states and cities in Democratic jurisdictions.
“Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run, crime-ridden Democrat cities and states. That’s all she is interested in,” the president said. “She is not interested in helping the people.”
McConnell Urged the White House to Wait to Make a Deal
On October 20, the Senate majority leader told senators that he advised the White House to avoid reaching a deal until after the November election, The New York Times reported. He cautioned against passing legislation that “most in the party cannot accept,” the newspaper added.
Republicans “fear that a vote on any large bipartisan stimulus would force colleagues who are up for re-election into a difficult choice of defying the president or alienating their fiscally conservative base by embracing the big-spending bill he has demanded,” the newspaper wrote.
However, in a one-on-one interview with WSAZ on October 21, McConnell expressed that he would be willing to bring a bill to the floor should an agreement be reached.