Pelosi says administration reviewing US COVID-19 aid bill -CNN interview
Oct 26 2020
By Erik Wasson and Billy HouseUS House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House traded blame for the latest stall in negotiations on a new coronavirus stimulus as pessimism built at the Capitol that anything could be accomplished before Election Day. "It's a political decision that nothing is going to pass until after Election Day because they believe that they have better chances of success on Election Day".
"Democrats want to get a big bold bill that will meet the American people's needs as soon as we can", he said.
As Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dick Shelby, an Alabama Republican, put it to reporters Thursday, "It could always be a miracle, but not very many around here". Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Key hurdles still remain, including aid for state and local governments, liability protections for businessees and growing dissent among Senate Republicans, who have balked at passing a multitrillion-dollar aid package. The House passed the $2.2 trillion Heroes Act in June and has so far rebuffed the administration's offer of $1.8 trillion for a new round of aid.
Republican John Thune, the party's No 2 leader in the Senate, indicated there wouldn't be enough Republican votes to assure passage of a stimulus package as large as Ms Pelosi is seeking. Taking care of the issue would clear the decks for a fresh start on the congressional agenda next year.
"We could do that before the election, if the president wants to", Pelosi said Friday in an interview on MSNBC. And as you know we've been met just with intransigence by the Republican Senate. "It's not up to me to psycho out Mitch McConnell". That likely would be amplified if Trump loses to Democrat Joe Biden and Republicans lose their Senate majority - leaving action on stimulus for the pandemic-stricken US economy until late January at the earliest. Ms Pelosi said they were waiting to hear from the heads of committees that would be drawing up a bill on some of the details "but that hasn't happened yet".
Immediately after the relief filibuster vote, Schumer once again moved to block the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, arguing it's too close to the election and therefore it would be "illegitimate". The direct payments would also include $500 per dependent with an expansion of who would qualify for that money. Lawmakers could still consider coronavirus relief measures in the lame duck session after the election, when they will also have to pass a new spending bill by December 11. When former President Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, for instance, he went on to prevail in "fiscal cliff" negotiations on taxes. But the election results could complicate any lame duck legislation.