February 7, 2023

House leadership rejects bipartisan COVID relief proposal

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives quickly shot down a bipartisan coronavirus relief proposal on Tuesday.

Eight House Democratic committee chairs released a joint statement saying the proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.

In reference to the House-passed Heroes Act, the joint statement said the new proposal “retreats from these critical policies and fails to respond to additional issues that have emerged.”

The $3 trillion package, which passed the House in May, has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate after members of the GOP caucus described the bill as “dead on arrival.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said that Republicans would “insist on narrowly targeted legislation.”

The PSC, of which Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) is a member, described the proposed framework as a “march to common ground” as stimulus talks have stalled in Congress.

Their proposal offered more than $1.5 trillion in new money for things like small business and school aid, a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks, more jobless benefits, and election funding.

Rose, who is up for reelection in a tight race against Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-East Shore/South Brooklyn), went on CNN on Tuesday to angrily criticize the rejection on the part of House leadership saying it made him “disappointed to be a Democrat.

“You saw all the reasons why people hate politics,” the freshman congressman said. “Because they are rejecting a bold bipartisan measure outright and insinuating things are not in there when they actually are and just continuing to kick the can down the road over and over and over again. … It’s deeply frustrating.”

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said her chamber will stay in session until a breakthrough is made on a coronavirus stimulus bill. McConnell has not made a similar commitment for his chamber, but Republicans, including President Trump, have suggested Democrats are delaying second stimulus to hurt his election chances.

Earlier in September, a significantly-reduced stimulus bill failed to even pass the Senate on nearly partisan lines.

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