Leader McCarthy sends letter asking moderate House Democrats to negotiate on COVID relief package

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is calling on some House Democrats to join House Republicans to pass a coronavirus relief package, The Daily Caller reported.

McCarthy made the request in a letter sent Friday to 23 House Democrats.

It’s the same 23 Democrats who sent a signed letter in September to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in which they stated: “It is our request that you continue to negotiate towards a bipartisan deal. Otherwise, a discharge petition is the only potential option for COVID-19 related action on the House Floor.”

No deal as of yet

In his letter, McCarthy pointed out that although Pelosi has failed to reach the “bipartisan deal” desired by those House Democrats, these Democrats have also not worked in the bipartisan manner they had promised.

“As we know, no bipartisan deal has yet been reached,” McCarthy wrote. “Perhaps more discouraging is that after Speaker Pelosi failed to secure a deal before recessing the House ahead of the election, you did not live up to your word to sign Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) discharge petition.”

McCarthy suggested that these Democrats can now redeem themselves.

“Speaker Pelosi’s approach that ‘nothing’ is better than ‘something’ is wrong, and the American people have paid the price,” he wrote. “We must get relief that is ready to go to those who need it most. Our neighbors are counting on you to keep your word and sign the discharge petition. We can get this done today and save countless small businesses from going bankrupt.”

The status quo

As McCarthy noted, there has been no action in the House on another coronavirus relief deal since these 23 Democrats threatened Pelosi with a discharge petition.

The most recent meeting between Republican and Democrats congressional leaders about another coronavirus relief package occurred Thursday.

Also discussed was how to avoid a government shutdown, which will happen if Congress doesn’t pass appropriations bills before Dec. 11.

House Republicans attempted to pass a coronavirus stimulus package of their own on Thursday, but it was struck down by the Democrats, marking the 40th time that House Democrats struck down such an attempt from Republicans.

The last stimulus package was passed in March. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been unable to find common ground.

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