Coronavirus Report

Pelosi suggests House could stay in session longer to complete COVID-19 relief bill

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2020. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House could stay in session longer if necessary to arrive at a deal with Senate leaders for a new coronavirus relief package.

“We have been ready for two months and 10 days,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referencing the the $3 trillion relief bill — dubbed the HEROES Act — the House passed in May.

“We can’t go home without” a deal, she added. “It’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their life.”

Pelosi also assailed congressional Republicans, saying, “The only thing they accomplished was a tax cut for the wealthiest people in America in order to give 83 percent of the benefit to the top 1 percent, and they’re resenting $600 for single moms to be able to put food on the table, for dads to maintain the dignity of keeping the families intact.”

Asked about the Senate GOP’s insistence that liability protections be part of any deal, Pelosi responded, “What we will not support is what they’re saying to essential workers: You have to go to work because you’re essential, we place no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safe, and if you get sick you have no recourse because we’ve given your employer protection, and if you don’t go to work because you’re afraid of getting sick … you don’t get unemployment insurance.”

“This is so unfair. Let’s just get to the heart of it,” she added.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pushed back on Pelosi in the next segment, saying Pelosi’s “objectives are focused on shoveling cash at the problem and shutting America down.”

Cruz declined to say whether he favored any further unemployment increase but told CBS’s Margaret Brennan that extending the full $600 unemployment enhancement was disincentivizing workers from returning to work.

“For 68 percent of people receiving it right now, they are being paid more on unemployment than they have been at their job,” he said.

“What we ought to focus on, instead of just shoveling trillions out the door, we ought to be focused on a recovery bill” that emphasizes deregulation, he added. 

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus relief COVID-19 Nancy Pelosi Ted Cruz

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