Pelosi Asks McConnell to Sign Covid-19 Relief Agreement

Photo: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Photo: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Confirmed Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing across America with reporting averaging over 100,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a new letter on Tuesday (November 17) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The letter requests McConnell to join the Democratic leaders at the negotiating table this week to produce a bipartisan, bicameral Covid-19 relief agreement that meets the needs of the country.

In the letter, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer note that earlier this year during negotiations with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows, Democrats agreed to compromise on a relief package and lowered their request by $1.2 trillion.

Since that time, according to the letter, Senator McConnell lowered his proposal from $1 trillion to $500 billion, despite the consensus from economists and experts that the country requires a much larger injection of aid.

Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer observe that the dual public health and economic crises caused by Covid-19 continue to devastate communities across the United States. “What is becoming clear to all Americans is that we cannot achieve real economic recovery until we address the expanding public health crisis,” they said in the letter.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing across America with reporting averaging over 100,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day. Last Friday (November 13), the US recorded more than 181,000 new cases, the highest number to date in the pandemic.

Deaths from Covid-19 have increased 50 percent in the last month (October). Hospital ICUs and morgues in many parts of the country are approaching or beyond capacity, with temporary hospital tents and mobile morgues being deployed in a number of states.

Pelosi and Schumer said that over 20 million Americans are receiving Unemployment Insurance, with critical unemployment benefits expiring at the end of December and 5 million Americans in long-term unemployment on track to exhaust their benefits soon.

“Our small businesses and state, local and tribal governments are warning of dramatic closures and cuts if the Congress does not act immediately,” Pelosi and Schumer said.

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has asked Congress to come together and pass a Covid relief package like the HEROES Act that the House passed six months ago.

“Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can build back better than ever before,” Biden tweeted.

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Rakesh Raman