House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the House could stay in session longer to come to a deal with the Senate for a new pandemic relief bill.
“We have been ready for two months and 10 days,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” making reference to the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which was passed in May.
“We can’t go home without” an agreement on the bill, she added. “But it’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their life.”
Pelosi said she disagrees with the Republicans’ proposal to have liability protection for businesses as part of the next deal.
“What we will not support is what they’re saying to essential workers, you have to go to work because you’re essential, we place no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safe and if you get sick you have no recourse because we’ve given your employer protection and if you don’t go to work because you’re afraid of getting sick … you don’t get unemployment insurance,” she added.
Her comments came after extra unemployment benefits for millions of people are slated to expire at the end of the month. The $600-per-week measure would be extended for several more months until January 2021 under the HEROES Act.
Over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made visits to Capitol Hill to meet with Republican Senate leaders on the legislation.
“The bill will be introduced Monday and we’re prepared to act quickly. This is all about kids and jobs. This is our focus, and we want to make sure something gets passed quickly so that we deal with the unemployment and all the other issues,” Mnuchin told the “Fox News Sunday” program.
Republicans say they are looking at an extension of unemployment benefits that replace 70 percent of a person’s wages before they lost their job. Mnuchin said on Saturday the Trump administration supports extending enhanced unemployment benefits until the end of the year, but at a reduced level.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has dampened the U.S. economy and caused large increases in unemployment claims. Congress is now working toward passing the latest in a series of bills in response to the pandemic.
The Senate got back from a three-week break last week, but another recess is scheduled for early August.
“We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We’ve moved quickly before, and I see no reason why we can’t move quickly again,” Mnuchin added. “And if there are issues that take longer, we’ll deal with those as well.”
Reuters contributed to this report.