House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Labor Day again called for Republicans and the White House to pass COVID-19 relief measures, setting up a potentially drawn-out and bitter negotiation process between the two parties.
“With millions of workers still unemployed and millions more at risk of losing their jobs, Republicans and the Trump Administration continue to ignore the scale of the crisis and refuse to lift a finger to help working families,” she said in a statement on Monday. “We must act quickly and decisively to defeat the virus, provide critical financial relief to state and local governments to preserve jobs, and keep workers safe with strong OSHA protections.”
President Donald Trump, in a press conference Monday, said that it’s the Democrats who are stonewalling on the talks.
“I don’t need to meet with them and be turned down,” he said of Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), adding that talks are stalled because a deal would be “good for the economy” and would benefit Trump’s chances of being reelected. “They think that if the country does as badly as possible … that’s good for the Democrats,” Trump said.
The measures are designed to limit economic damage caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic as well as associated stay-at-home measures and lockdowns.
Last month, after talks stalled, Trump took executive action on payroll taxes, student loan payments, expanded unemployment benefits, and a moratorium on evictions.
And Pelosi last week accused White House officials of stalling on talks, adding that the 8.4 percent unemployment rate “is a reminder of the urgent need to enact the #HeroesAct, as the economic recovery stimulated by Congress’s early & robust investments continues to slow down.”
Republicans have unilaterally rejected the HEROES Act, which was passed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. They have argued that the $3.4 trillion bill is too expensive.
Later, Democrats said they would pass a bill over $2.2 trillion, which was rejected by the Trump administration.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Sunday that he and Pelosi were able to come to an agreement on preventing a government shutdown at the end of the month, saying that it would not be tied to CCP virus stimulus measures.
“The president and I believe we should do more stimulus,” he also said to Fox News. “We have about 7 and a half million jobs we need to get back until we’re back to where we were and we want to help small businesses, we want to help businesses that are particularly impacted by this and we’ll continue to work on proposed new legislation.”