US Senate to vote on $500bn Covid-19 bill on Wednesday

Clay Curtis
October 19, 2020

Pelosi, the top elected Democrat, said she wanted a bill passed before the November 3 presidential election between Republican Trump and Democrat Joe Biden but acknowledged an agreement would have to come within 48 hours for that to happen.

Pelosi told ABC's "This Week" earlier on Sunday that it "depends on the administration" whether a stimulus bill gets passed before the election, and they have 48 hours to come to an agreement.

Pelosi said a 48-hour deadline mentioned Saturday night in a tweet by her spokesman related to the need to agree "on the design on some of these things", a reference to unresolved aspects of a bill. She said that the administration changed terms like "requirements" to "recommendations", and "plan" to "strategy", and "shall" to "may". "And I certainly want it because I don't want to have to be sweeping after this dumpings of this elephant as we go into a new presidency in a few short months".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday that the vote would follow a standalone vote on additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds on Tuesday. Their staff members are still talking.

"These unacceptable changes include, but are not limited to, the White House's refusal to commit to a science-based national plan for testing, tracing, and treatment to crush the virus", Pelosi wrote, blasting the administration for eliminating "measures to address the virus's disproportionate and deadly impact on communities of color".

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Recently, the President, through a post on his official social media account, urged Pelosi to approve the offered stimulus because he will lobby the said amount to McConnell and other Republican Senators.

In a follow-up tweet Saturday, Hammill said that existing disagreements "must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours".

In a letter sent out to House Democrats on Sunday, the House Speaker did not sound optimistic on a stimulus deal being reached anytime soon. Mr Hammill also said "decisions must be made by the White House in order to demonstrate that the Administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides for Americans with the greatest needs during the pandemic". "She couldn't care less about our people", he said, adding he believes the real reason she doesn't want to pass anything is because "it's bad for her election". With the window for action quickly narrowing, Pelosi gave the White House a deadline that indicated if no agreement could be reached by Tuesday, it would not be possible to reach a new relief bill by the election.

"Next week, Senate Republicans will move to break this logjam", he added.

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