Former Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
TIM SLOAN/AFP via Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden met with top Democrats in Congress on Thursday to discuss another COVID-19 relief package, which has been stalled in Washington.
Biden spoke on a call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about the growing need to distribute aid to Americans bearing the brunt of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“They discussed the urgent need for the Congress to come together in the lame-duck session on a bipartisan basis to pass a bill that provides resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for working families and small businesses, support for state and local governments trying to keep frontline workers on the payroll, expanded unemployment insurance, and affordable health care for millions of families,” according to a press release.
Congress initially passed the CARES Act with bipartisan support at the onset of the pandemic but has since struggled to come to a consensus on a follow-up stimulus package.
Since then, the House of Representatives has passed an additional stimulus package, but the GOP-controlled Senate has bristled at the cost. Similarly, the Senate put forth a “skinny” version of a stimulus package that was shot down by Democrats as not enough to help the American people.
The White House has been inconsistent with its messaging, with President Donald Trump at times shutting down talks and other times demanding a larger bill than the Democrats’ plan.
Pelosi, who had been in talks with the White House to negotiate a bill, has been under fire from members of her own party in the House for the continued delay, as critics ask her to prioritize the needs of Americans over the politics of the bill.
Pelosi responded to critics saying that they don’t understand the nuances of the bill as conversations continue while the US braces for surges in infections in the fall and winter months.
Alongside discussing the fallout of the pandemic and how to remedy it, the trio also touched upon Biden’s legislative plans that will spur bipartisan support.
“They also discussed the importance of finding bipartisan solutions to create millions of good-paying union jobs, including through investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and development, and clean energy,” the press release read.
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