House Democrats ‘Growing Increasingly Alarmed’ With Pelosi’s Strategy

After Senate Democrats Blocked Republicans’ Targeted COVID Relief Proposal, House Democrats Are ‘Restive’ And ‘Increasingly Alarmed,’ Urging Speaker Pelosi ‘To Show More Progress In Helping Struggling Families And Businesses’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “I had hoped, Republicans had hoped, and the American people had hoped that the Senate would be spending this week finishing up another bipartisan agreement on coronavirus relief. We want to get hundreds of billions more dollars into the pipeline for kids, jobs, and healthcare. But unfortunately, Senate Democrats chose to block it all. Our Democratic colleagues voted against hundreds of billions of dollars to help Americans fight this virus.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 9/14/2020)


‘Moderate House Democrats Are Growing Increasingly Alarmed About Stalled Coronavirus Relief Negotiations,’ ‘[R]estive [House] Democrats In Competitive Re-Election Races Are Hungry To Show More Progress In Helping Struggling Families And Businesses’

“Moderate House Democrats are growing increasingly alarmed about stalled coronavirus relief negotiations, with vulnerable members starting to privately push Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders to take action to break the stalemate.… [S]ome House Democrats aren’t convinced the wait-it-out strategy will work and have started to press leadership to take some kind of action, including potentially putting bills dealing with specific aspects of coronavirus relief on the floor so that lawmakers have something to tout to their constituents back home.” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

  • “The calls for Democratic leaders to put more coronavirus bills on the floor have been growing for weeks. When the House returned in August to vote on a rescue package for the U.S. Postal Service, several Democrats urged Pelosi to couple that vote with one on broader economic recovery legislation. Pelosi and her team ultimately decided against any additional votes. Concerns about the inaction have only escalated since then, with party leaders making no progress in negotiations and ultimately halting talks altogether.” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

“A growing number of House Democrats are communicating to their leadership that they are awfully frustrated. They don’t like that Covid relief talks have broken down -- the two sides aren’t talking at all.” (“POLITICO Playbook: The Two Numbers Driving The Angst On Capitol Hill,” Politico, 9/14/2020)

“[R]estive [House] Democrats in competitive re-election races are hungry to show more progress in helping struggling families and businesses and are urging their leaders to cut a deal.” (“Democrats, Republicans Point Fingers Over Lack of Coronavirus Aid Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2020)


House Dems: ‘We Can’t Wait Until January,’ ‘I Think That’s An Untenable Outcome’

“Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), who chairs the House Budget Committee, said he has personally urged party leaders to take up a bill that deals with the most immediate needs, such as jobless benefits, small business loans or nutritional assistance, rather than holding out for one huge package …” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

“[Rep. Derek] Kilmer [D-WA] was among several centrist Democrats who voiced similar concerns about the inaction one day earlier in a call with Pelosi. Some, particularly freshmen, pressed for more votes on coronavirus legislation, such as piecemeal bills to address programs like unemployment insurance, small business assistance or stimulus checks.” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): “We’re doing everything we can to get both sides back to the table…. We can’t wait until January.” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): “I think that’s an untenable outcome…. The American people need the government to work on their behalf right now.” (“Democrats, Republicans Point Fingers Over Lack of Coronavirus Aid Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2020)

REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): “We cannot allow for any Democrat … to say we’re just going to punt the football until after the election because that will improve our electoral prospects.” (“Democrats, Republicans Point Fingers Over Lack of Coronavirus Aid Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2020)


Some House Democrats Are Proposing More Targeted Relief Bills, ‘But Pelosi (D-Calif.) And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Have Rejected That Idea’

Some Democrats have suggested passing smaller, more targeted coronavirus relief bills in the House, which many hope would stand a chance in the Senate or at least restart talks. But Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have rejected that idea, saying it weakens Democrats’ efforts to secure a broader relief package.” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)


Key Relief Programs Have Expired, And The Senate Republican Bill Would Have Extended Many And Offered New Aid To Schools, But Democrats Blithely Rejected This Assistance As ‘Emaciated,’ ‘Crumbs,’ And ‘A Cheap Date’

“Roughly 29 million Americans are collecting some sort of jobless aid, and eviction and hunger crises threaten many people as key relief programs Congress approved as part of $3 trillion in spending in March and April have expired.” (“Congressional Leaders Insist Coronavirus Relief Deal Is Needed But Point Fingers On Inaction,” The Washington Post, 9/11/2020)

The Senate Republican Bill Featured Additional Federal Unemployment Insurance, More PPP Assistance For Small Businesses, Funding For Schools And Universities To Reopen, And More Money For Testing And Vaccine Development

Extended Additional Federal Unemployment Insurance: “Would offer federal unemployment benefits of $300 through the week ending December 27 … Payments would be retroactive to the end of July, when the original $600 weekly supplement expired.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

Second Round Of Paycheck Protection Program Assistance For Small Businesses: “Would allow some small businesses to apply for a second loan from the Paycheck Protection Program. That would be limited to those with fewer than 300 employees that have seen a drop of at least 35% of their revenue during the first or second quarter of 2020. It would also reduce the amount a borrower can receive from $10 million to $2 million and gives businesses more flexibility on how they spend the money.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

Funding For Schools And Universities To Reopen: “Would provide $105 billion in education funds … It would also provide money for school choice scholarships that parents can use to send their child to a public or private school outside their home district and fund grants to eligible child care providers so that they can pay for cleaning supplies, safety equipment and other expenses.” (CNN, 9/08/2020)

More Funding For Vaccines And Testing: “$20 billion for the manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics; $6 billion to prepare for, distribute, administer, and track coronavirus vaccines; and $16 billion that would go almost entirely to states, localities, health service providers, and other groups for testing, contact tracing, and surveillance.” (Bloomberg, 8/18/2020)

Relief For Farmers And Fishermen: “For farmers, it includes $20 billion in relief and for fishers, $500 million in federal assistance.” (“Senate GOP Introduces Slimmed-Down COVID-19 Relief Bill That Democrats Vow To Block,” USA Today, 9/08/2020)

But Democrat Leaders Have Derisively Dismissed This Assistance That Could Help Struggling Families, Businesses And Schools Now As ‘Emaciated,’ ‘Crumbs,’ And ‘A Cheap Date’

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “Don’t be a cheap date.” (“Democrats, Republicans Point Fingers Over Lack of Coronavirus Aid Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2020)

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “The cynical Republican bill was emaciated …” (Sen. Schumer, Press Release, 9/10/2020)

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): “And so why are we always -- are the GOP, quite frankly, always pushing to offer the American people the crumbs from the table?” (CNN’s “State of the Union,” 9/13/2020)


Speaker Pelosi Won’t Make Time For More COVID Relief, But Apparently She Will, Again, Make Time For Marijuana

“At the same time, Democratic leadership is battling discontent on another front — a bill slated for a vote in the coming weeks that would legalize marijuana at the federal level. Vulnerable House Democrats are furious about plans to vote in roughly two weeks on the bill …” (“Vulnerable Dems Anxious Over Stalled Covid Talks,” Politico, 9/10/2020)

FLASHBACK: Pelosi’s Unserious ‘HEROES Act’ Was Full Of Cannabis-Related Provisions

One section required banking regulators and the GAO to issue diversity reports for cannabis-related businesses:

PAGE 1100: “(h) ANNUAL DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION REPORT.— The Federal banking regulators shall issue an annual report to Congress containing— (1) information and data on the availability of access to financial services for minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses…”  (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

PAGE 1100: “(i) GAO STUDY ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION.—(1) STUDY.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall carry out a study on the barriers to marketplace entry, including in the licensing process, and the access to financial services for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

And another would allow cannabis businesses to work with federally backed banks and insurers:

PAGES 1088-1089: “SEC. 110606. SAFE BANKING. … The purpose of this section is to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers…” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)



Related Issues: COVID-19