Hoyer Vows House Members Won’t Leave DC Without Relief Bill Deal
WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., vowed Friday that members will not leave the nation’s capital until there’s a deal on a new coronavirus relief package.
Speaking on the House floor, Hoyer said, “We will not start the August district work period until we pass appropriate COVID-19 relief to meet the current health and economic crisis confronting our people and our country.”
As a result of lawmakers’ inability to strike a deal on a new round of coronavirus aid, a supplemental $600 in weekly federal unemployment benefits is set to expire at midnight.
Also set to end, unless lawmakers intervene, is a federal moratorium on evictions that has shielded millions of renters — though some Americans remain protected by similar state and local actions.
Throughout the day on Friday, both sides in the negotiation accused the other of playing politics during the ongoing negotiations over the relief bill.
At the White House, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made four different offers to the Democrats that were rejected without the offer of a counterproposal.
“The Democrats believe that they have all the cards on their side, and they’re willing to play those cards at the expense of those that are hurting,” Meadows said.
Later, during her weekly briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Meadows, the White House and Senate Republicans were projecting their own internal dysfunction onto the Democrats.
“Every time they say something, I say, ‘Perhaps you are characterizing yourself and think that that’s how we are,'” Pelosi said. “We’re not. We’re here. This is serious. This is life-and-death.”
She also noted that the House approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief in May and has been waiting to make a deal with the White House and Senate ever since.
At the time, Pelosi called the relief package, which passed by a vote of 208-199, largely along party lines, “a very strategically planned piece of legislation that is tailored strictly to meet the needs of the American people regarding the coronavirus pandemic.”
“To do anything less would not be responsible,” Pelosi said.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the Senate’s $1 trillion relief package proposal, but it immediately drew fire from members of his own party, undermining the unified negotiating stance the administration wanted to present to the House.
Speaking on the House floor Friday, Hoyer gave no indication how long he thinks negotiations will drag on.
“Members are further advised as conversations surrounding [additional] coronavirus relief legislation continue, it is expected the House will meet during the month of August,” he said. “No one should schedule themselves for next week or until such time as we adopt COVID-19 legislation.”
In The News
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is moving toward nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, according to people familiar with the matter, despite the president saying Monday he’s considering as many as five candidates. Barrett is a favorite... Read More
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is refusing to back down from what is sure to be an intense fight over who will fill the Supreme Court seat now vacant after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In his first remarks from the... Read More
WASHINGTON — Emergency expansions to Unemployment Insurance provided critical support to workers across the country during the early months of the pandemic. But the major component of these expansions, an additional $600 in weekly benefits, expired at the end of July. With lawmakers continuing to be... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday dodged a question on whether he will bring a motion to vacate to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her post, an effort the Freedom Caucus was urging him to pursue. “I do not want Nancy Pelosi to... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Democrats’ plan to vote on legislation decriminalizing marijuana before the November election went up in smoke Thursday, as leadership decided to postpone consideration of the measure amid concerns about the political optics. Some of the more moderate Democrats in the caucus, including ones... Read More
WASHINGTON — Some House Democrats are keeping pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring a new coronavirus relief bill up for a vote next week as they look to signal to voters that the party is pursuing a deal to bolster the economy. Pelosi said... Read More