Pelosi says talks on second stimulus package are ‘productive’

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With less than a week left before the US Senate’s August recess, Democrats say negotiations with Republicans on stimulus proposals are moving along, but still locking horns on key issues.

Whereas lawmakers made limited progress on the next stimulus package last week, there are indicators that the GOP-majority Senate and the Democratic-majority House are beginning to “have a clearer understanding of what the needs are” said House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Following a meeting about the coronavirus stimulus with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a brief press conference to provide an update on negotiations. While both said there are differences in how the package should look, there is “progress” said Pelosi. 

Schumer said that the GOP-majority Senate and the Democratic-majority House have “a desire to get something done.”

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President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks as he welcomes Republican members of Congress Friday, May 8, 2020, to a meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House. Official White House Photo. Credit: Shealah Craighead


In May, the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief. The HEROES Act, which stands for the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act aims to expand more relief for families, $1 trillion to Native groups who never received any aid during the coronavirus, along with continued federal unemployment assistance and protections for renters and homeowners, another $1,200 stimulus check that includes $500 per child with up to $6,000.

Added to their bill, the Dems propose $25 billion to the US postal service, along with monies towards social programs on violence against women due to the spike of intimate partner violence during quarantine.

Republicans balked at what they saw as a deficit-draining plan, later passing a $1 trillion package called the HEALS Act. While they agreed another stimulus check should be given, it should go to people who make $40,000 or less. Similarly, they agree to federal unemployment benefits, but propose that it should be $200 a week for two months. 

Republicans also said people who made more from unemployment than wages need their assistance be 70% of their wages, an identical practice that occurred in Italy.

While both parties agree that the next coronavirus relief should support small businesses, the Republican bill included a liability protection for Covid-19 lawsuits.

In the cross talk with the press, Rep. Pelosi said that Democrats were “sticking to” their proposal on unemployment. On the other hand, Sen. Schumer said the Republicans were “sticking to their position.” 

While it seemed as if negotiations have made some progress, CNN reported that Sen. Schumer and Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell are on such terse terms that they are not speaking to each other. As a result, Trump officials must speak to each side separately.

Currently, there are six days left until the Senate August recess. Already the House canceled, but the Senate has yet to announce their plans. Talks between the lawmakers went on Monday night and will continue on Tuesday.

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