Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday The Memo: Democrats grapple with virus response Turning the virus into a virtue — for the planet MORE (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that House Democrats would draft their own coronavirus stimulus bill after all sides failed to reach a deal on a massive proposal being negotiated in the Senate.
“We’ll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible with what they discuss on the Senate side,” Pelosi said as she left a short meeting in the Capitol with the leaders of both parties negotiating the stimulus package.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday GOP drafting stimulus package without deal with Democrats No. 2 Republican: ‘Loose ends’ but there is agreement on ‘general contours’ of stimulus deal MORE (R-Ky.) has scheduled a procedural vote for 3 p.m. on Sunday to jumpstart the process, and has vowed a second vote on the massive proposal Monday.
Yet Pelosi signaled the sides remain far apart, indicating that McConnell’s timeline might be overly ambitious, at least as it pertains to winning bipartisan support.
“I don’t know about Monday, but we’re still talking,” she said. “That’s on the Senate side now because that’s their deadline for a vote.”
Her comments came just after Pelosi left a meeting with the lead negotiators scrambling to piece together Congress’s third relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has tanked markets, led to mass layoffs and encroached on virtually every facet of American life.
The meeting, in McConnell’s office, also featured Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSenate closes in on trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus bill Senate negotiators near agreement on keeping rebates in coronavirus stimulus package Senate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday MORE, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday Trump needs to stop the daily press briefings Overnight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus tests MORE (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Senators press Amazon over workplace safety amid outbreak | Lyft expands to deliveries | Dems seek election security funds in stimulus package Tourism industry calls for 0B in relief in coronavirus stimulus package Senators urge Congress to include election funds in coronavirus stimulus MORE (R-Calif.) and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland. It marked the first time that Pelosi had met face-to-face with McConnell and the other Republicans, who have been negotiating with Schumer and Senate Democrats while the House was in recess last week.
Pelosi and Schumer, however, have been working hand-in-glove through the process. And Pelosi has vowed all along that House Democrats would craft their own alternative to the Republicans’ initial $1 trillion proposal, if only to promote their own stimulus vision as the talks evolved.
Both McConnell and Schumer left the Capitol Saturday night expressing optimism that a quick deal was in reach. But that confidence seems to have faded since then, as Democrats press for a host of provisions Republicans have resisted, including expansions of paid leave, unemployment benefits and a huge stabilization fund to help state and local governments weather the crisis.
There was a sense that a House bill would be unnecessary, if Pelosi and Schumer could reach a deal with McConnell and the White House, setting the stage for quick passage in both chambers. The House was even eying the possibility of voting by unanimous consent, a procedural maneuver allowing the bill to pass without calling House lawmakers back to Washington.
Pelosi’s comments Sunday, however, suggested the process will be longer drawn, perhaps requiring each side to pass their own different bills, and iron out the differences afterward.
They also reflect a simmering resentment among House Democrats who feel that they have been cut out of the process.
Pelosi had conducted a conference call with House Democrats on Thursday, during which lawmakers laid out a long wish-list of provisions to include in the package, including expansions in funding for Medicaid, unemployment insurance, a state stabilization fund and Social Security.
In short, the Democrats have accused Republicans of crafting a package that leans too heavily toward bailing out corporations without providing enough assistance for small businesses, workers and working-class families suffering the fallout of the deadly virus.
“Trickle-down economics really stands for the proposition that you may get a trickle, but the overwhelming majority of the American people are guaranteed to stay down,” Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesSenate closes in on trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus bill Brady PAC endorses Biden, plans to spend million in 2020 House Democrats expected to unveil coronavirus package Wednesday MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus said heading into the weekend.
–This report was updated at 1:02 p.m.
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