And some Republicans will not even commit to supporting another coronavirus rescue program, minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Urging a wait-and-see approach on Monday.
“I’m not saying there won’t be another bill. … You just spent $ 3 trillion. You want to make sure it’s implemented and implemented properly, “said McCarthy in an interview with POLITICO Playbook on Monday morning.
There are also some moderate Democrats, who are eager to vote on a strongly partisan package amid a national crisis that has killed nearly 70,000 people and infected 1.2 million in the United States. Several have been affected by violent attacks by the GOP in the previous round of negotiations, after Pelosi sought policies such as stricter rules on carbon emissions for airlines which the Republicans have wrongly dubbed “the Green New Deal ”.
Republicans also criticized Democrats for delaying the passage of the $ 484 billion aid package in April as Democrats fought for hundreds of millions of dollars in hospital aid.
In Monday’s call, Pelosi stressed the “ethics” of the next aid package, saying that the Democrats were focusing on an “ethical approach to saving lives … how this money is distributed … and how drugs are administered” , according to the sources of the appeal.
House Democrats Are Eager To Shape The Next Wave Of Relief After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Broadly Dictated The Terms Of The Latest Bill help for small businesses that had dried up.
Some lawmakers fear the fund, the paycheck protection program, will run out again in the next few days – something the Democrats hope will force Republicans back to the negotiating table, even though McConnell and McCarthy have said that they would rather wait to approve another massive bailout.
The legislative battle over the fifth aid tranche against the coronaviruses has taken place, with almost all members of the House remaining confined to their own districts, with little power to influence negotiations. But that should change next week.
On Friday, the Capitol doctor sent legislators a long document indicating the return of the House. Advice included limiting as much of the office staff in person as possible, installing plexiglass shields, consulting the Capitol architect to find out if each office receives good air circulation and encouraging helpers and visitors to wear masks.
Legislators and staff are also encouraged to take their temperatures regularly, in addition to performing a “yes or no” self-assessment that lists common symptoms of coronaviruses.
But Pelosi and McConnell rejected the administration’s offer to provide both chambers with rapid coronavirus tests over the weekend, even though the Capitol doctor said there were insufficient tests to proactively verify legislators for coronavirus. In rejecting the offer, congressional leaders spoke of the need to send these tests to “front-line” establishments that need them most.
The Senate, meanwhile, returned to Washington on Monday to resume consideration of a string of President Donald Trump’s candidates and to begin holding hearings on the federal response to coronaviruses.
Members of the House watched with concern as the Senate returned, with masked senators, large billboards posted in the basement outlining recommendations for social distancing and yellow stickers on the floor indicating where journalists should stand. But not everyone followed the recommended protocol – several Capitol police officers were seen on duty without masks, even in tight quarters where social distancing was almost impossible.
Among the deputies, there is a lively internal debate on when and how to resume business.
A group of loud Democrats and Republicans insisted that the House return to normal business as quickly as possible. This includes some of the most threatened legislators before the November elections, eager to show voters at home that they are actively involved in the response.
“We are really happy that Congress is back to work in Washington, and we hope it will be a normal return to order,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), A Co-Chair of the Moderate Blue Dogs Coalition said Monday when it called journalists. The group, she noted, has not taken an official position on the return of the House.
But a larger group – described by a legislator as the “silent majority” – have real concerns about returning to the Capitol as the public health crisis rages on. Washington, D.C., is subject to strict social distancing guidelines until at least May 15, and possibly more. The number of coronavirus cases in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area continues to increase, with more than 2,200 deaths reported.
The level of alarm in both parties was so high that last week it prompted Democratic leaders to overturn their original plan to bring back lawmakers by Monday.
John Bresnahan and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.