Blue Dogs Urge Leaders to Restart Coronavirus Relief Talks

August 21, 2020 by Dan McCue
The empty rotunda of the Capitol, Aug. 5, 2020. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has begun circulating a letter they plan to send to leaders in the House and Senate, urging them to return to bargaining on a new coronavirus relief bill.

Earlier this month, the congressional leaders declared themselves at an impasse over what the next round of coronavirus aid should look like.

It is now unclear when Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will sit down with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to resume discussions.

At present both parties are focusing on their 2020 nominating conventions. The Democrats’ gathering concluded Thursday night. The Republicans will hold their convention next week.

If lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next month without an agreement, they will have to consider coronavirus relief while trying to avoid a government shutdown by Sept. 30.

It is against this backdrop that the coalition of moderate Democrats is pushing for a serious resumption of talks and reportedly suggesting many areas of potential compromises between the parties.

Officials who have seen the letter say these areas include extending an increase on unemployment benefits, increased aid to state and local governments, small business loans and tax incentives for retaining workers during the pandemic, and another round of direct payments to households.

The House is in the process of returning to Washington ahead of a vote Saturday that would provide funds for the U.S. Postal Service to help it deal with an expected surge in mail-in voting in the November election.

The letter, which the coalition will reportedly send to the leaders on Friday, said moderate Democrats believe there’s “considerable common ground” between the $1 trillion package Senate Republicans have advanced, and the $3.4 trillion measure the House passed in May.

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

House Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Package
Congress
House Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Package
February 27, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The House passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in the wee hours of Saturday morning, helping President Joe Biden clear the first hurdle in passing an economic stimulus bill that includes $1,400 in direct payments to U.S. households, an extension of federal supplements... Read More

Rep. Himes Says ‘The Threat is Real’
Political News
Rep. Himes Says ‘The Threat is Real’
February 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel wants to cut off funding for the kind of White supremacists who raided the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6. They described the attack as the first of many against government targets unless they act promptly to stop them. “This threat is... Read More

Mandates Needed to Keep Big Tech in Check
Antitrust
Mandates Needed to Keep Big Tech in Check
February 26, 2021
by Victoria Turner

Congress needs to create mandates to curb the abusive power exerted by a handful of online platforms, according to all six witnesses at a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday. During the hearing, members of a House Judiciary subcommittee grappled with solutions to address the ability of... Read More

Filibuster, Cloture to Play Out in Biden Agenda
Congress
Filibuster, Cloture to Play Out in Biden Agenda
February 26, 2021
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — The Senate cloture rule might be the biggest Legislative obstacle in front of President Joe Biden’s policy agenda.  Simply put, the cloture rule is a debate-limiting procedure that requires 60 Senators to agree before moving on to a vote. This rule is the only... Read More

House to Vote on Virus Bill; Arbiter Says Wage Hike a No-Go
U.S. Senate
House to Vote on Virus Bill; Arbiter Says Wage Hike a No-Go

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.A near party-line vote seemed certain... Read More

House Votes to Expand Legal Safeguards for LGBTQ People
Civil Rights
House Votes to Expand Legal Safeguards for LGBTQ People

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House passed a bill Thursday that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation's labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.The bill passed by a vote of... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top