Democrats Increasingly Abandon Pelosi’s COVID Relief Hardline

Speaker Pelosi Is Increasingly Isolated In Her All-Or-Nothing Demands On COVID Relief As More And More Democrats Call For A Compromise And ‘The Results Of The Election… Appear To Have Significantly Undercut Her Position’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “There is no reason why we should not deliver another major pandemic relief package to help the American people through what seems poised to be the last chapters of this battle… If Operation Warp Speed remains on this historic trajectory, we need to continue investing in the system that will distribute these vaccines around the country. If we want the small businesses that have already hung on for most of the year to survive a few more months, we need a second round of the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program for the workers at the hardest-hit establishments. Some major parts of the historic CARES Act have already run dry. Many others are set to expire at year’s end. Republicans have spent months trying to renew important help and provide even more. We’ve tried to send more than $100 billion to help schools welcome students and teachers safely to the classroom. We’ve tried to implement common-sense legal protections that universities and charities have been clamoring for. Republicans have tried to pass all of this, over and over again. But Speaker Pelosi and the Senate Democratic Leader have blocked it.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/30/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “There is only one remaining question for the Speaker and the Democratic Leader. One. Will they finally let Congress pass hundreds of billions of dollars of relief on all the subjects where we agree? Or will they continue to insist that either they get their entire ideological wish list or the American people get nothing at all? Even their fellow Democrats are increasingly seeing this is not a difficult question to answer… Rank-and-file Democrats in both chambers are telling Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader to stop stonewalling and move forward with the approach Republicans have been urging for months. The American people need more help and they need it now. Democratic leaders have already burned through three months. And they didn’t even get the political results that their cynical strategy was supposed to deliver. Let’s hope our colleagues at the top of the Democratic Party can finally hear their own members and stop blocking the commonsense, multi-hundred-billion-dollar measures that Republicans have been ready to deliver for months.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/30/2020)


‘Pelosi Seems To Have Overplayed Her Hand … But She Is Holding Firm’

“Pelosi seems to have overplayed her hand as she held out for $2 trillion-plus right up until the election. The results of the election, which saw Democrats lose seats in the House, appear to have significantly undercut her position, but she is holding firm on another round of aid to state and local governments.” (“Congress Returns With Virus Aid, Federal Funding Unresolved,” The Associated Press, 11/30/2020)

  • FLASHBACK: SPEAKER PELOSI: “And so, when people say, as some of you do, ‘Isn’t something better than nothing?’ No.” (Bloomberg, 10/01/2020)


Former Obama Administration Economist Austan Goolsbee: ‘There Are A Lot Of People Really Hurting In The Country, I Hope That They Can Agree On Something Soon … If They Have To Accept Half A Loaf, Then I Think They Should Accept Half A Loaf And Then Let's Try To Get Another Half’

FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: “There are a lot of people really hurting in the country, I hope that they can agree on something soon… I know everyone calls it stimulus and its sort of a pedantic point but this isn't stimulus, this literally just relief money until we can get the furnace back on. We have to do this. It's not jumpstarting growth it's just keeping people from being evicted, keeping businesses from shutting down permanently from what was supposed to be a temporary shock. … So if they have to accept half a loaf, then they should accept half a loaf, and then let's try to get another half of a loaf… But right now is really touch and go, and I wish both sides could see that” (CNN, 11/29/2020)


Members Of Senate Democratic Leadership: ‘Even If There Is A Short-Term Package For The Next Few Months… We Have To Act Now,’ ‘Do What We Can Achieve Now’

SENATE MINORITY WHIP DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “What we need to do is walk into the positive side of this, a bipartisan approach that really does something now, that is helpful now. It doesn't mean we get everything or they get everything, but it means that the package that we come up with is significant, addresses the problems we face... Let's get something done that is significant, do what we can achieve now.” (CNN, 11/12/2020)

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI), Chair of Senate Democrats’ Policy & Communications Committee: “To me, this is about making sure there are no winners and losers that whatever we do is comprehensive… And it's less about the overall number because even if there is a short-term package for the next few months, until we get into the new Biden administration, we have to act now. … I’m not even gonna put a number because to me it's about a few months, maybe it's through the first quarter.” (“Stabenow Says Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill Better Than Nothing,” Roll Call, 11/24/2020)


House Democrats: ‘Mitch McConnell Is Talking About A Bill We Can Pass’ ‘Most Members… Are Prepared To Vote For Something That Gets Something In The Hands Of People Who Are Suffering,’ ‘There Is No One Price Tag That I Would Demand Or Refuse To Go Below In Order To See Us Get Relief’

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER (D-MD): “I just hope that we can get agreement. It may not be everything that everybody wants but at least if we can get some significant relief to people… And then we're going to be here next year. If we need to do other things, we'll do other things.” (“Pressure For ‘Targeted’ Coronavirus Relief Bill Grows As Time Dwindles,” Roll Call, 11/20/2020)

REP. CONOR LAMB (D-PA): “We absolutely have to get something done to help people who need help amid the pandemic. [Senate Majority Leader and Republican] Mitch McConnell is talking about a bill we can pass. Yes, it’s a much smaller package, but still. We should negotiate that to the finish. People are going to run out of unemployment very, very soon. And we can’t have that. That would be a disaster for them and their families, and a disaster for the economy as a whole.” (“U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb On Pennsylvania Politics And The Future Of The Democratic Party,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/17/2020)

REP. MIKE DOYLE (D-PA): “I just can’t imagine going home for Christmas without doing this… [House Democrats] realize we’re not going to get everything we want in that package… Most members, myself included, are prepared to vote for something that gets something in the hands of people who are suffering and these small businesses that are hurting.” (“Rep. Mike Doyle, Entering 14th Term In Congress, Sees Partisan Divisions As Early Test For President-Elect Biden,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/29/2020)

REP. CINDY AXNE (D-IA): “I’ve said all along there is no one price tag that I would demand or refuse to go below in order to see us get relief to those who need it… If a proposal sufficiently addresses the pressing issues facing our families, workers, businesses, municipal services, and health systems, I would of course support that compromise.” (“Democrats Face Increasing Pressure To Back Smaller COVID-19 Stimulus,” The Hill, 11/23/2020)

REP. DWIGHT EVANS (D-PA): “Please know that my constituents are now in a dire emergency — they cannot wait any longer… While undoubtedly, a substantial relief package is needed to address the impacts of the public health crisis in its entirety, I respectfully urge you to immediately pass bipartisan legislation with targeted funding that addresses the dire unemployment, housing, and small business needs of our communities at risk of further financial crisis as they attempt to safely and effectively mitigate the public health crisis.” (“Pressure For ‘Targeted’ Coronavirus Relief Bill Grows As Time Dwindles,” Roll Call, 11/20/2020)

“[Rep. Stephanie] Murphy [D-FL] said she hopes a COVID-19 package will be passed before the new Congress comes in on Jan. 3.” (“Murphy Urges Centrist Democrats And Republicans To Work Together In 2021,” Orlando Sentinel, 11/16/2020)


Democratic Governors: ‘Please Work Together, Please Find A Compromise In There, Please. If You Have To, Move A Package Now With The Idea That You Will Come Back And Move One Later,’ ‘The Consequences Of Waiting To Act Until The 117th Congress Would Be… Severe And Wide-Ranging’

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): “I write to urge you to immediately resume negotiations on another coronavirus relief package that can be passed by Congress and signed into law before the end of the year. The resources provided by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), the CARES Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act were instrumental in helping states, workers, and families endure the spring and summer surges of COVID-19. Now, as we face the most dangerous period yet during this public health emergency, further federal aid is urgently needed to provide a bridge to the period when effective vaccines are widely available to the public.” (Gov. Jay Inslee, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Rep. McCarthy, and Sec. Mnuchin, 11/19/2020)

  • GOV. INSLEE: “Only Congress can provide the size and scale of relief needed in this moment…. We are all committed to safeguarding our people from COVID-19 but, like all states, we simply cannot meet the urgent and dire needs without further federal aid. I urge you to immediately return to the negotiating table to develop a package that enables Washington and all states to protect lives and livelihoods … The consequences of waiting to act until the 117th Congress would be as severe and wide-ranging as any we have faced during this emergency. Washingtonians, and the American people, cannot wait any longer.” (Gov. Jay Inslee, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Rep. McCarthy, and Sec. Mnuchin, 11/19/2020)

GOV. JARED POLIS (D-CO): “Even as cases have exploded across the country, Congress and the president have not yet passed much-needed relief for people.” (“With No Action By Washington, States Race To Offer Virus Aid,” The Associated Press, 11/29/2020)

GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): “I would reiterate to our federal partners … please work together, please find a compromise in there, please. If you have to, move a package now with the idea that you will come back and move one later…. COVID is not going to end at the end of the month. We are in an unrelenting spike.” (“With No Action By Washington, States Race To Offer Virus Aid,” The Associated Press, 11/29/2020)

GOV. TONY EVERS (D-WI): “Here’s the bottom line—the federal CARES dollars we received earlier this year expire on December 31st. That means unless we get additional support from Congress, our state will have to foot the bill for our response after the New Year. So, please contact your congressperson and ask them to provide additional support and resources for our state’s response to this virus. We must be able to continue all our efforts to keep people healthy and safe.” (Gov. Evers, Press Release, 11/10/2020)



Related Issues: Appropriations, COVID-19