As economists seek second incentive check, Pelosi exerts pressure to support targeted aid package


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sought to have Republicans raise the price tag for another COVID-19 aid package, but only weeks before the end of the year will she face pressure to bow slightly to secure it.

Pelosi has been talking to the White House for three months to produce a bipartisan coronavirus removal package. However, as the cases exceed 12 million and legislators are introducing further restrictions on gatherings and businesses, the two sides have yet to agree.

More than 120 economists wrote an open letter on Monday calling for recurring direct payments. It has been written that stimulus control is an “indispensable tool” in preventing an increase in the number of people living in poverty, as well as a driver of consumer spending.

During a meeting with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, the parties agreed that an aid package should be adopted at the lame duck session. Not only were they hoping for the package before Biden took office, and several lawmakers called for a compromise between the two sides.

Steny Hoyer, head of the majority of the house, told CQ Roll Call on Friday that “people need to provide some significant relief,” even if that’s not all everyone wants.

“And then we’ll be here next year. If we need other things, we’ll do others,” Hoyer said.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) talks to reporters after she was re-elected president of the U.S. Capitol’s conference in Washington on Wednesday. Economists on Monday encouraged lawmakers to send out another round of checks and some lawmakers want congressional leaders to compromise on a smaller package and then seek further relief later.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

By controlling the House, Democrats passed a $ 300 billion aid package in May, but it was blocked in a Republican-controlled senate. In January, however, it is possible that Democrats will not face the same roadblock.

Democrats lost their seats in the House during the 2020 elections, but managed to retain control of the chamber and still had the opportunity to take control of the Senate. If Democrats win both seats in the Senate in Georgia’s January 5 election, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate and a tie vote will be cast for Harris as vice president. Biden in the White House could provide an easier way for Democrats to deliver their own aid package.

Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called for more targeted assistance than Democrats want in a $ 2 trillion package. On Wednesday, Dwight Evans, a representative of the Pennsylvania Democrats, forced Senate minority leader Pelosit and Chuck Schumer to “move quickly and immediately” to pass legislation to expand support for unemployment benefits, rents and mortgages and support small businesses.

“The American people can’t afford to wait weeks to negotiate a package that the Senate can refuse to consider again,” Evans wrote. “While there is undoubtedly a significant aid package needed to fully address the effects of the public health crisis, I respectfully ask you to bring in bipartisan legislation immediately …”

The Pandemic Emergency Employment Compensation Program, which provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance, will expire at the end of the year, and the eviction moratorium and student loan will also expire if Congress does not approve another package. Biden supports the $ 10,000 student loan debt waiver due to the epidemic, but will only take office on Jan. 20, leaving the loans frustrated for at least three weeks.

Republican Governor John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, is also asking Pelosi and McConnell to put aside their differences and give relief for the items they have adopted.

“Our unemployment insurance trust fund is zero and I think another round of incentives would do that,” Bel Edwards told WBUR. “I encourage House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to sit down and figure this out. It’s sad that they agree on so many things and still can’t move forward on things they agree on.”

Problems Solvers Caucus, the bipartisan legislature, said Congress “could not delay” the exemption, and after meeting with senators on both sides, the board said it had the opportunity to provide bipartisan “urgently needed assistance to American families and businesses.”

The package adopted at the lame duck meeting should include resources to fight the epidemic, support for families and small businesses, and state and local governments, expanded unemployment insurance, and health care, according to Pelosi.

As of Monday, there were no “active talks” underway, Pelosi said, but he said he was “optimistic” that there would be a bipartisan package.