With Bipartisan Deal Elusive, Democrats Push Through Their Own Stimulus Bill
Lawmakers approved the measure along party lines, even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a late-stage agreement with the administration was still possible.
Pelosi ‘Hopeful’ for Another Coronavirus Relief Package
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that Republicans and Democrats were still in talks about a coronavirus relief package.
Right now, we’re at the table discussing how we go forward with a possible Covid bill. Again, at that table, it reflected some of the differences that you saw in the debate. For example, we’re hopeful that we can reach agreement because the needs of the American people are so great. But there has to be a recognition that it takes money to do that. And it takes the right language to make sure it is done right. So again, we have concerns about a sufficient amount of money to address unemployment insurance needs of the American people. We have concerns about, for example — how about this as a stark example — of a difference, not just of dollars but of values.
By Emily Cochrane
WASHINGTON — House Democrats pushed through a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan on Thursday that would provide aid to families, schools, restaurants, businesses and airline workers, advancing a wish list with little chance of becoming law as negotiations with the Trump administration failed to yield a bipartisan agreement.
Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted there was still room for the talks to produce a deal, the vote reflected the continued failure of Congress and the White House to come together on another pandemic relief package and the dwindling chances that they could do so before lawmakers scatter to campaign for re-election.
The dysfunction has left Americans without aid payments or enhanced unemployment benefits they had relied on to weather the pandemic, and allowed help for struggling businesses to lapse at a critical time in a shaky recovery.
But the measure passed by a slim margin, 214 to 207, as Republicans panned the latest relief bill as too large and at least 17 moderate Democrats from conservative-leaning districts objected to the lack of Republican support and argued that a vote should have waited until a bipartisan agreement was struck with the administration.
“It’s important for people to see that we completely identify with the concerns that they have, and how we have allocated the resources necessary to get the job done,” Ms. Pelosi said.
The bill shaved $1.2 trillion from the original $3.4 trillion stimulus bill that Democrats muscled through the House in May, reflecting mounting anxiety over the impasse and bipartisan concerns over the measure’s scope.
Ms. Pelosi spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the lead White House negotiator, for about 50 minutes on Thursday, and told reporters that evening that she was reviewing documents and language sent from the Treasury Department.
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