First-term Democrat presses for coronavirus relief agreement this year

First-term Democrat presses for coronavirus relief agreement this year

Rep. Cindy AxneCindy AxneDemocrats close in on deal to provide tax relief for unemployment recipients Police disarm pipe bomb at Iowa polling site Democrats call for relief package to waive taxes on unemployment benefits MORE (D-Iowa), a first-term lawmaker who won reelection in a state carried by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE, is urging the White House and congressional leaders to reach an agreement on a coronavirus relief package before the end of the year.

"There is no campaigning left to distract and detract from negotiations; Americans cannot wait longer for aid," Axne said in a letter to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Paul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Senate Democrats near deal to reduce jobless boost to 0 MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Andrew Yang condemns attacks against Asian Americans Congress in lockdown: Will we just 'get used to it'? MORE (D-Calif.).

"I urge you to finalize a COVID relief package expeditiously so that we can contain the spread of this virus and ensure that no American must fear homelessness, economic insecurity, job loss or business closure during this year."


The letter comes two days after Election Day. Democrats are projected to retain their majority in the House, but several first-term Democrats lost their reelection races. Axne is projected to have narrowly won her reelection race against former Rep. David YoungDavid Edmund YoungFirst-term Democrat presses for coronavirus relief agreement this year Axne wins reelection in Iowa Democrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll MORE (R-Iowa).

Negotiations between Pelosi and the White House over a coronavirus relief package had stalled ahead of the election.

Axne said in her letter that the Midwest is seeing record levels of coronavirus cases, and that there are concerns that health systems will be overburdened if there is also a flu outbreak. She also noted that some coronavirus relief efforts are set to expire at the end of the year, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium and unemployment benefits for self-employed and gig economy workers.

"With the coming winter confining folks inside more and more, we must be ready to support our hospitals, health care workers, small businesses, and all Americans in these upcoming times," she wrote. 

The United States recorded over 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a grim record set by a country leading the world in coronavirus-related deaths. 

The appeal from the freshman Democrat also comes as uncertainty looms over the lame-duck session after the election during which a stimulus bill could be passed. However, lawmakers are unsure of Trump's willingness to cut deals if he loses the November election.