WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday pledged Congress would not leave for the Christmas recess without reaching a deal on coronavirus relief as a result blocking month led by Democrats.
During her weekly press conference, Pelosi (D-Calif.) Told reporters she spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) On Thursday about a potential deal and said that negotiations between the Democrats and the GOP were progressing.
“We are making progress,” Pelosi said.
“We will take the time we need and we have to do it,” she continued. “We cannot leave without it.”
$ 908 billion bipartite stimulus proposal unveiled on Monday by lawmakers frustrated with a lack of action received a stamp of approval from Pelosi, who said it would serve as a framework for negotiations.
The measure includes a federal unemployment supplement of $ 300 per week – up from $ 600 per week before it expires – and would add $ 288 billion in new forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses.
The next wave of aid is expected to be tied to a bigger spending bill ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown.
“We hope this gets us very close to something that we can put on the omnibus,” she said.
80-year-old speaker comes under increasing pressure to reach deal after Democrats spiked two targeted invoices of McConnell which would have included more unemployment assistance.
Pelosi and Democrats have claimed they previously couldn’t accept Republican relief packages because they didn’t include enough money for state and local governments and coronavirus testing.
But GOP sources speculated to the Post that Pelosi was unwilling to agree to a deal before the election, for fear of appearing to give President Trump a victory.
House Democrats have passed their convict $ 3 trillion in HEROES law in May, but Republicans worried about growing indebtedness blocked the deal and offered a $ 1 trillion counter-offer, which also failed to gain traction.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reduced their demand to $ 2.2 trillion – leading reporters on Friday to question why Pelosi was now happy to strike a deal she had been fight for months.
“Don’t characterize what we’ve done before as a mistake as a preface to your question if you want an answer!” She’s lost her mind.
“It wasn’t a mistake, it was a decision and it brought us to a place where we can do the right thing,” she continued.
When asked what was different, Pelosi replied Joe Biden’s victory, an elected president who supports science, and the successful vaccine candidates, have “completely changed the game.”
“A new president and a vaccine. So there is nothing to compare. What was then is no longer that, ”she said.
“It’s okay now,” Pelosi said of the relief below what she demanded, “because we have a new president, a president who recognizes that we have to depend on science to stop the virus.”
The pandemic continues to set new records as winter approaches, with 14.2 million people in the United States contracting the disease that has killed 276,000 people.