Sep 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi, Schumer: Senate GOP's skinny coronavirus bill "is headed nowhere"

Nancy Pelosi and Schumer stand in front of reporters

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) denounced Senate Republicans' plan to introduce a pared-down coronavirus stimulus bill on Tuesday, saying the "emaciated" bill "is headed nowhere."

Why it matters: Weeks after the expiration of key stimulus components from the CARES Act, like expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, congressional leaders appear no closer to a deal on the next round of relief.

The state of play, via Axios' Alayna Treene: Senate Republicans have decided that they can get behind a narrow, scaled back package that addresses only the key issues with widespread GOP support, including more money for schools, widespread liability protections and restructured unemployment benefits.

  • Many Senate Republicans privately expect their slimmed-down bill to fail, but see the expected vote as a maneuver to put Democrats, who passed their $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, on defense.

What they're saying: "If anyone doubts [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s true intent is anything but political, just look at the bill. This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support," Pelosi and Schumer said in their statement.

  • They added that the bill is "only intended to help vulnerable Republican senators by giving them a 'check the box' vote to maintain the appearance that they’re not held hostage by their extreme right-wing that doesn’t want to spend a nickel to help people."

The other side: "It does not contain every idea our party likes," McConnell said in a statement of his own on Tuesday.

  • "I am confident Democrats will feel the same. Yet Republicans believe the many serious differences between our two parties should not stand in the way of agreeing where we can agree and making law that helps our nation."
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