Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Pelosi, Democrats using coronavirus to push for big tax cuts for blue state residents US watchdog vows ‘aggressive’ oversight after intel official fired MORE (D-Calif.) said in a letter to fellow House lawmakers on Saturday that she wants to bring a second CARES stimulus package to the floor by the end of this month to further relieve the American public during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is my hope that we will craft this legislation and bring it to the floor later this month,” Pelosi said in the letter, according to Bloomberg, adding that American communities “cannot afford to wait.”
Pelosi added that the next stimulus package “must go further in assisting small businesses including farmers, extending and strengthening unemployment benefits and giving families additional direct payments.”
The aggressive push from the California lawmaker comes as members of Congress disagree over next steps to take regarding the economic fallout and spread of the coronavirus.
Some House Republicans are particularly wary of a fourth coronavirus relief package.
On Friday, a group of GOP lawmakers – led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) – wrote President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE a letter, advising against rushing to sign a fourth stimulus bill into law.
“Most of the relief funding from Phase 2 and Phase 3 has not even been distributed yet. We advise caution in considering an additional round of spending outside of the regular process before we have seen the results of the previous three rounds of spending,” the group wrote.
The group cited that before the CARES Act was passed that the country’s debt stood at $23.6 trillion and that the mammoth bill was already going to add at least $2 trillion to that figure.
“Every dollar we add to the debt today makes it increasingly less likely that we will be able to provide even the basic services our citizens have come to expect in the decades to come,” the group added.
But Pelosi underscored in a statement released Friday that while the first CARES act provided money to bolster small businesses, their employees and others who are unemployed, there was much more to be done to help the country.
“It is imperative that we go bigger and further assisting small business, to go longer in unemployment benefits and provide additional resources to process [unemployed insurance] claims and to give families additional direct payments,” Pelosi said, according to the statement.
She added: “We must also provide the desperately needed resources for our hospitals, community health centers, health systems and health workers on the frontlines of this crisis. We cannot succeed in defeating this virus unless we more strongly support state and local governments with significantly more resources.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.) has said that there will be a fourth bill, this time with a more “targeted response” to “what we got wrong.” The bill would also have a further focus on health care, according to an interview the senator did with The Associated Press. However, the GOP leader indicated that he was not in any rush to pass the bill.
Pelosi has already scaled back her latest ambitions for a coronavirus infrastructure proposal, saying that things like improvements to drinking water systems and expanded access to broadband may have to wait.
“The acceleration of the coronavirus demands that we double down on the downpayment we made in CARES by passing a CARES 2 package,” she continued in the statement. “We must extend and expand this bipartisan legislation to meet the needs of the American people.”
The Hill has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
Updated 11:10 p.m.