Democratic Leaders Want Next Pandemic Relief Bill Finished by July 31

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 21, 2020Updated: July 21, 2020

House Democrats are pushing to have the next CCP virus stimulus bill finalized by the end of July as weekly expanded unemployment benefits are slated to expire.

“I’m hoping for the end of the month,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Tuesday in the Capitol building.

The chairman of the Democrat Caucus, Rep. Hakeen Jeffries (D-N.Y.), added that the measure needs to be addressed with “fierce urgency,” saying that it has to be finished “by July 31.”

“The American people need a meaningful and transformative intervention so we can turn this around,” he said, according to The Hill publication.

Republicans and Democrats disagree on several key factors, including the expanded federal unemployment payments of $600 per week, liability protections for businesses, and a payroll tax. In May, Democrats in the House approved the $3 trillion HEROES Act, while Republicans said they want to see a $1 trillion bill passed.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are slated to meet with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday to speak about the details of the forthcoming package.

“Well, our message to them is let’s get going,” Schumer told CNN on Tuesday morning, referring to Republicans. “The Republicans don’t even seem to have their own act together. It’s hard to negotiate when the president says one thing, Senate Republicans say another,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke on the Senate floor to outline major provisions such as more help for small businesses, $100 billion to help schools reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, and stimulus checks for individuals and families. He did not mention a payroll tax cut, which is favored by the Trump administration.

On Tuesday, Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he does not expect the pandemic relief bill to be passed in July.

“I envision that this bill doesn’t get done by the end of July,” he said in a televised interview. “We’re probably in the first week of August before we make this happen,” he added, saying that he expects there to be disagreements with Democrats over liability protections and unemployment insurance, which will hold up the process.

On Monday, Mnuchin told reporters that the next round of stimulus will focus on having children return to schools and workers heading back to their jobs, as well as developing a vaccine to curb the spread of the virus.

“We’ll have tax credits for PPE, for safe work environments, and we’re going to have big incentives, money to the states for education, for schools that can open safely and do education,” the Treasury secretary said, referring to the Payment Protection Program that was established under the CARES Act passed in March.