WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said the House will remain in session until lawmakers come to an agreement on the next COVID-19 relief bill.
We have to stay here until we have a bill,” a Democratic aid said Pelosi told her colleagues on a morning conference call.
In August, talks between House Democrats and Republicans broke down over the hotly contested bill and most political watchers announced little faith that an agreement could be reached by Election Day.
But this week Democrats signed off on a $1.5 trillion rescue package endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of about 50 lawmakers who seek bipartisan solutions. An approximately $650 billion Senate GOP plan failed last week due to Democratic opposition.
The plan contains many elements of COVID rescue packages devised by both Democrats and Republicans and includes funding to schools, state and local governments, and renewal of lapsed COVID-related unemployment benefits but the price is significantly less than an unspecified $2.2 trillion figure originally demanded by Pelosi, but sources say Democrats are now willing to compromise,
“This is how Congress is supposed to work,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
“We believe that getting to a compromise is absolutely essential,” No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland told the media on Tuesday. “Getting to a compromise that does not deal with the problems, however, is not useful, because the longer you delay addressing many of the problems, the greater you weaken both the economy and the response to COVID-19.”