Progressive lawmakers want Pelosi to postpone vote on $3T relief package

Progressive lawmakers want Pelosi to postpone vote on $3T relief package
© Greg Nash

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are calling on House Democratic leadership to provide additional time for lawmakers to review the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package slated for a Friday floor vote.

In a letter sent to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi calls Trump's decision to withdraw US from WHO 'an act of extraordinary senselessness' House Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Khanna says President Trump threatening violence against US citizens; Trump terminating relationship with WHO MORE (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in House scheduled to return for votes in late June House pushes back schedule to pass spending bills MORE (D-Md.) on Tuesday, CPC co-Chairs Mark PocanMark William PocanHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (Wis.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA MORE (Wash.) and CPC Deputy Whip Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettHouse Democrats launch inquiry into HHS stimulus payouts Progressive lawmakers want Pelosi to postpone vote on T relief package Donald Trump is proposing attacks on Social Security and seniors; here is what we should do instead MORE (Texas) said Americans are facing an “unprecedented crisis” and Congress needs to ensure that their needs are met.

The lawmakers argued the bill doesn’t address key areas progressives feel are critical components in helping individuals weather the fallout from the pandemic, such as language in the Paycheck Guarantee Act, which would guarantee 100 percent of workers' wages are covered up to $90,000 a year.

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“Millions of businesses – including small and minority-owned businesses – are looking for certainty about how they’ll be able to avoid closing permanently without jeopardizing the lives of their workers by bringing them back before it is safe to do so,” they added. 

“These concerns – from how we end mass unemployment and ensure access to health care during a pandemic to getting relief to all businesses and their workers – need to be addressed in this legislation at the scale necessary to fully respond to this crisis and deliver certainty to the American people,” they said.

The progressive leaders said given the magnitude of the measure, they feel additional time is needed to review and discuss the bill. The lawmakers requested a full caucus meeting ahead of the vote.

"As we read the more than 1800-page legislation, we must have more time to determine what is in and what is not in this legislation, as well as a conversation about the bill as a caucus. Most of us will already be flying by Thursday, shaving even more time off our full review," they wrote. "We request delaying the Friday vote to the following week."

The lawmakers also sent out a whip notice to members of the CPC urging them to say they are undecided on how they will vote on the measure.

House Democrats unveiled The Heroes Act — $3 trillion legislation that includes a number of top Democratic priorities including funding for state and local governments, contingency plans for mail-in voting, direct stimulus payments for front-line workers and additional funding for SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs — on Tuesday afternoon. 

The measure, which was not negotiated with Republicans, would face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate in its current form. Republican lawmakers have said there is no need to move quickly on another coronavirus relief measure.