House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) drew significant criticism over her decision to propose her own 1,404-page, $2.5 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan stuffed with Democrat “Christmas wishes” while the Senate debated a separate bill over the weekend.
After GOP lawmakers exploded with criticism over her apparent stalling, Pelosi appeared to give up on the plan, saying on Wednesday that “the easiest way to do it is for us to put aside some of our concerns for another day, and get this done.”
Pelosi’s so-called relief bill, released on Monday, included mandates for national ballot harvesting measures, the establishment of a $15 an hour national minimum wage, green new deal measures, and immigration policy overhauls, among a host of other Democrat priorities.
Tensions have run high on the Senate floor as legislators race to approve a bill to relieve the enormous pressure that the near nation-wide coronavirus shutdown has caused. A multi-trillion dollar relief package was set to be passed over the weekend, but Democrat leadership blocked the measure due to concerns that the bill was not extensive enough.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) made an emotional speech on the Senate floor on Monday, urging her colleagues to come to an agreement.
“We have now to listen to colleagues on the other side put off a vote is appalling. People are suffering. People must be helped. We need to be here to provide relief and to have a plan of recovery. We have that. We worked in a bipartisan way to have it,” she said.
Now, Pelosi seems to be heeding the pleas of her colleagues, offering a lukewarm endorsement of the latest Senate proposal, set to be approved on Wednesday.
“America is facing a grave health crisis with a serious impact on our economy. I salute the strong leadership of Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats. I especially thank our House Democratic Committee Chairmen, who worked hard to move the Republican proposal from corporations-focused to workers-first and who will now review the legislative text of this agreement with our Caucus,” Pelosi said in a written statement.