WASHINGTON – Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Friday that there is “momentum” on the Capitol Hill to conclude a coronavirus-free agreement, which is further optimism that legislation could be approved before the end of the year.
“There is momentum,” Pelosi told reporters. “I’m glad the tone of our conversation signals the decision to get the job done.”
The agreement provides for expanded unemployment payments until March, but does not send another round of control to the nation.
Pelosi said he spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) on Thursday about attaching the Covid-19 exemption to the government’s funding bill, which must be passed by December 11 to avoid a halt. This means that legislators negotiating another round of aid will work to tight deadlines, after months of stalemate in negotiations.
Asked if Democrats and Republicans can realistically reach an agreement next week as some protracted political debate persists, Pelosi insisted that the truncated timeline is not an obstacle and told reporters “we have time to do it.”
“It doesn’t matter. We take the time we need,” he said.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. voiced support for a $ 908 billion bipartisan proposal put forward by members of the Senate and House on Tuesday.
Negotiations came to a standstill earlier this year when Democrats asked for $ 2.2 trillion in support while McConnell sought a smaller $ 550 billion package. In addition to the price tag, Republicans and Democrats disagreed on the involvement of defending businesses in a pandemic and involving state and local government funding.
The bipartisan proposal, which Pelosi called the “framework” for ongoing negotiations, includes state and local funding and liability protection, as well as expanding unemployment benefits and support for small businesses. This does not include another set of direct incentive payments.
The bipartisan proposal is a smaller package than Democrats had hoped, raising some questions about why Pelosi waited so long to agree to a smaller proposal after insisting for months that he was not interested in the downsized agreement.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” Pelosi said, calling Joe Biden’s election a “game change,” and he hoped more help could be provided during his administration.
“Less money, but in less time. And we need to do that to save lives and livelihoods, in the hope that there will be a lot more help on the way.”
Pelosi’s remarks sound like the November employment report released on Friday showed the slowest month of growth since the start of the recovery, with the economy adding fewer jobs than many economists had predicted.
“We didn’t have good news in the workplace, which further necessitates our actions to defeat the virus,” Pelosi said.