U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) straightens her scarf, followed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the US Capitol after it was announced that US Congress leaders and the White House had agreed to spin off almost $ 500 billion in coronavirus assistance for the U.S. economy, bringing to almost $ 3 trillion the amount allocated to combat the crisis, in Washington, April 21, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
Supreme Democrats in Congress call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately begin negotiations on another bill to help the coronavirus on Monday as the pandemic continues to hit the United States.
In a letter to a Republican from Kentucky, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called “unacceptable” permission for the Senate to leave for a two-week break on July 4 without adopting additional legislation to respond to the outbreak. They pointed out the need for Americans to cover living expenses, as well as the struggle to ensure that state and local governments finance basic services, including opening schools in the fall.
“It is time for action, not ongoing delays and political posturing,” wrote Pelosi and Sumer, Democrats from California and New York, respectively.
Congress approved aid worth more than $ 2.5 billion. US to try to mitigate the damage caused by the outbreak of the health system and economy. While Congress and the Federal Reserve were trying to maintain individual incomes and help businesses keep employees on wages as states restart their economies, the US unemployment rate in May still exceeded 13%.
Congress is approaching a critical deadline in late July, when an additional $ 600 a week for federal unemployment benefits expires, and millions of Americans face a drop in income.
According to Johns Hopkins University, in at least 12 states, their seven-day average of new cases per day rose to a record high last week.
The sharp increase in the number of cases in Texas and Florida has raised new concerns, forcing their governors to curtail plans to open. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars to be closed in seven counties, including Los Angeles, as the number of cases rose sharply in that state.
Last month, the House of Representatives adopted a $ 3 trillion aid package for coronavirus assistance, which included assistance for government and local governments, hazardous benefits for key employees, help with paying rent and mortgages, and another round of direct payments private individuals. Since Republican Party leaders have stated that they want to see how reopening affects the economy before they prepare another bill, the Senate is not going to provide more help.
On Friday, McConnell indicated that the Senate would not consider more legislation until he returned from his mid-July recess.
“Someday in July, we will take a picture of where the country is, see how jobs are returning, see where we think, and whether there is a final package of rescue measures, when it will develop and begin, again.” in my office, “he said. The Senate GOP leader said the bill, approved in May, was not a” serious effort. “
President Donald Trump has shown interest in undergoing yet another relief measure, but the appetite for the bill in the White House seems to have weakened after the employment report was published in May, which turned out to be better than expected. Trump’s consultants have put forward proposals to stimulate the economy, including lowering payroll taxes and incentives to encourage restaurant and entertainment spending.
Pelosi and Schumer cited a new wave in their arguments in order to convey more relief. As infections continue to rise, more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus and at least 125,000 deaths have been reported in the United States.
Democrats wrote that “Americans now need and deserve bold action.”
“On behalf of millions of American families who are desperate for Congress, we demand that you change your mind and decide to work with us for the good of the country,” they wrote to McConnell.