On Monday Speaker Pelosi pushed back against Senate Republicans who called for a “pause” before enacting any additional coronavirus relief legislation as her team prepares to unveil its proposal.
Democrats in the House are expected to introduce as soon as Tuesday their latest legislation to help mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak, including expanded unemployment insurance, food assistance, additional direct payments to individuals and funding for state and local governments.
“We have to put money in the pockets of the American people, recognizing the pain, the agony that they are feeling. To those who would suggest a pause, I’ll say the hunger doesn’t take a pause, the rent doesn’t take a pause, the hardship doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow have both suggested that lawmakers should “pause” to review the measures that Congress and the Trump administration have already enacted in response to COVID-19 before considering additional legislation.
“We’re basically assessing what we’ve done already. I’m in constant communication with the White House and if we decide to go forward we’ll go forward together,” McConnell told reporters on Monday, after suggesting a “pause” last week. “I don’t think we have yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. That time could develop, but I don’t think it has yet.”
Kudlow told ABC News on Sunday that there are “informal” discussions between Congress and the White House ongoing.
“I think many people would like to just pause for a moment and take a look at the economic impact of this massive assistance program which is the greatest in the United States history,” Kudlow said.
House Democrats are however moving ahead with legislation of their own to outline their priorities for any upcoming bipartisan negotiations and put pressure on Republicans who refuse to move faster to propose new relief legislation at this point.
“I think when [Americans] see what we’re doing, it will be big, because the problem is big and the needs are big of the American people that it will be more attention paid to what the Republicans are saying or doing,” Pelosi said.
She confirmed the bare bones of the bill will include state and local government funding, more direct payments expanding the one-time checks enacted by the $2.2 trillion relief package in March and funding for food stamps.