Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.
Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.
- McConnell appeared to reject the proposal on Tuesday, telling reporters: "We just don’t have time to waste time."
- He later circulated his own framework for stimulus legislation to Republican members that would establish a fresh round of funding for the small-business Paycheck Protection Program and implement widespread liability protections.
Details: The framework includes $160 billion for state and local government aid, $180 billion in additional unemployment insurance, $288 billion for the small business Paycheck Protection Program, and short-term federal protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits, among other things.
- It was introduced by a group that includes GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Rob Portman (Ohio), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Pat Toomey (Pa.), and Democrats Mark Warner (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Michael Bennet (Colo.).
- The proposal dropped hours before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi planned to discuss coronavirus relief — their first talks since October.
- Read the full breakdown of the framework.
What they're saying: "While we made a new offer to Leader McConnell and Leader McCarthy on Monday, in the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
- “In light of the urgency of meeting the needs of the American people and the hope that the vaccine presents, it’s time for Leader McConnell to sit down with Democrats to finally begin a true, bipartisan effort to meet the needs of the country."
- "Of course, we and others will offer improvements, but the need to act is immediate and we believe that with good-faith negotiations we could come to an agreement."
- President-elect Joe Biden endorsed the bill on Wednesday at a virtual roundtable, but warned it would “at best only be a down payment” on a more robust package until he is in office, per Bloomberg.