A bipartisan Congressional group is calling on House leaders to dig deep and remain in session until another round of coronavirus relief is passed.
For months, top legislators have been at an impasse in reaching a deal for a second stimulus package, including several failed attempts involving the Democrats’ HEROES Act, Republicans’ HEALS Act and Senate GOPs’ ‘Skinny Bill.’
As the House prepares to break for recess in early October, with several members heading home to campaign for re-election, the pressure mounts for additional aid to be sent to the millions of struggling Americans before the November 3 election, ValueWalk reported.
A group of 34 Democratic and Republican representatives sent a September 22 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pleading to remain open until a bipartisan bill is passed — claiming “our constituents do not want us home campaigning while businesses continue to shutter.”
“We were elected to represent the best interests of our constituents and the country,” the bipartisan letter reads.
“Our constituents’ expectations in the midst of the crisis are that we not only rise to the occasion and stay at the table until we have delivered the relief they so desperately need, but also that we set aside electoral politics and place the needs of the country before any one region, faction or political party.”
The legislators expressed in the statement that the stimulus package “should be our number one priority in the coming days.”
While the House is scheduled to adjourn on October 2, the Senate is scheduled to go on a break after October 9, according to Value Walk.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Overall Price Tag has Been the Biggest Sticking Point Among Negotiators
While House Democrats have advocated for a $3 trillion package, Senate Republicans have remained firm on a maximum price tag of $1 trillion, according to Forbes.
After the Senate failed to pass its “skinnier” version of their package back in August, which sought to inject an additional $300 billion in pandemic assistance but did not include stimulus checks, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus unveiled its “March to Common Ground” bill on September 15.
Top Democrats rejected the proposal just hours after its debut, claiming it fell “short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”
Pelosi has Vowed to Keep the Session Open, But Other Congressional Leaders Aren’t So Sure
Pelosi assured on September 15 that her chamber would remain open until legislation is passed, according to The New York Times. The House speaker expressed, “We have to stay here until we have a bill.”
But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer isn’t convinced.
Hoyer indicated that he “foresees most lawmakers returning to their districts after the scheduled session ends on October 2 and being called back if a deal emerges,” Newsweek reported.
“It tells members, ‘Look, we know the election’s coming up, we know you want to go back and campaign. But understand this is a priority,'” Hoyer told the outlet on a press call.
Forbes added that “there is no timetable” to pass the package, regardless of the looming presidential election.
“Despite both parties saying they want a stimulus deal, there is no timetable or path to consensus,” the outlet continued.