Nancy Pelosi is dismissing calls from within her own caucus to keep negotiating on the next coronavirus stimulus.
The House Speaker (D-CA) insisted that her party is on a united front as talks with Republicans drag on, despite pleas from the moderate Blue Dog Coalition for compromise, the Washington Examiner reported.
Democrats call on Pelosi to negotiate
Talks have not advanced since Republicans made their $1 trillion counter-offer weeks ago to Pelosi’s initial blueprint, a $3 trillion stimulus package called the HEROES Act. The Senate adjourned with no deal until after Labor Day.
While Pelosi has insisted that President Donald Trump and the Republicans are unwilling to provide the help that is needed, a group of centrist Democrats dashed off a letter last week calling on her to reach a compromise with the Republicans.
“We must keep negotiating, no matter how difficult,” the letter reads. “Inaction is not an option.”
NEW: We’ve sent a letter to leadership urging them to restart bipartisan negotiations on a fifth COVID-19 relief package. With a divided government, only bipartisan solutions will deliver much-needed support to Americans, and that requires principled compromise by both parties. pic.twitter.com/9httTHoizh
— Blue Dog Coalition (@HouseBlueDogs) August 21, 2020
In a CNN interview Sunday, Pelosi claimed that the Democrats are all on the same page, despite opposition from within her caucus to her seemingly intransigent position.
“My caucus is standing together on this,” she said. “I invite any ideas that they have. I welcome them, and there are a number of letters for one aspect or another, and I welcome that. But they want, of course, we all want the negotiations to continue but not just what the administration wants, but what the country needs.”
The Blue Dog Democrats identified various points where they believe an agreement can be reached, namely unemployment benefits, measures to help Americans keep their jobs, funding for state, local and tribal governments, funding for schools and universities, a second round of stimulus checks, and more oversight of stimulus spending.
But Pelosi has been preoccupied with the Postal Service, summoning the House back this weekend to pass funding that Democrats say is necessary to protect the integrity of the mail from a conspiracy by Trump to undermine the presidential election.
She has also rejected calls from a group of over 100 Democrats to pass a stand-alone bill to renew a $600 enhancement to federal unemployment benefits, with Pelosi arguing that this approach would weaken her party’s hand in negotiations for a more ambitious deal.
As overtures at cooperation fail to make headway, the Speaker continues to blame Trump for showing negligence to the American people. “Trump fiddles while Rome burns, while America burns, and Trump gives bread and circuses without the bread,” she told CNN.