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 Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday, CPC co-Chairs Mark Pocan (Wis.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and CPC Deputy Whip Lloyd Doggett (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.

“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.

Tags coronavirus relief COVID-19 Lloyd Doggett Mark Pocan Nancy Pelosi Pandemic Pramila Jayapal progressives Steny Hoyer
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