Politics

Pelosi, Schumer Reject GOPs CCP Virus Relief Package

Top Democrats have rejected a GOP proposal to offset economic damages suffered during the monthslong CCP virus pandemic, setting up the prospect of long negotiations after various federal assistance programs are slated to expire.

Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) met with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to reports.

“We are somewhat frustrated. We had hoped there would be a bill, and instead in the Senate theyve put little pieces here and there and everywhere. Its pretty clear they dont have 51 votes in the Senate for a proposal,” Schumer told reporters on Monday night after he met with the two White House officials.

Democrats have argued that the Senate Republican proposal falls short of providing funding to state and local governments, does not have safeguards for eviction notices, and does not invest in lower-income communities.

“We very much want to get something done for the needs of the people and the needs of the country,” he added.

Democrats in the House passed a sweeping, $3 trillion measure called the HEROES Act, which prompted criticism from Republicans and President Donald Trump as having too many provisions. Trump has said the bill is “dead on arrival” because it contains numerous legislative programs that are not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the bill presented on Monday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested cutting down the $600-per-week expanded unemployment insurance to $200 per week before switching to replace 70 percent of wages starting in October. The 70 percent plan was previously proposed by Mnuchin, who told reporters that “were not going to pay people more money to stay at home than work.”

“This legislation serves as a starting point for bipartisan negotiations,” Grassley said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to not let partisan differences derail progress.”

House Democrats want to extend the $600 payments until January 2021 under the HEROES Act.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) holds a press conference after a pro forma session where the Senate passed a nearly $500 billion package to further aid small businesses due to the COVID-19pandemic, at the US Capitol in Washington on April 21, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats on Monday criticized the GOPs unemployment proposal.

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