As Congress continues to negotiate the terms of the next coronavirus relief package, one of the benefits included in previous legislation expired at the end of last month.
Republicans have made multiple proposals over the past two weeks to extend an additional unemployment benefit in some form on a short-term basis, but U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has flatly denied each such offer, as the Daily Caller reported.
“Not having short-term extensions”
Lawmakers previously approved a temporary boost of $600 per week for Americans receiving unemployment benefits.
Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked in the ongoing effort to deliver a followup relief bill. In the meantime, struggling Americans who had relied on that extra money to stay afloat throughout the pandemic are out of luck.
As recently as Thursday, GOP lawmaker offered up a short-term extension of the $600 payments, but Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) rejected it.
According to Fox News, the Democratic leaders accused their Republican counterparts of attempting to “nickel and dime” the negotiations of a broader relief package still in the works.
“We’re not having short-term extensions,” Pelosi declared while discussing the status of negotiations during a press conference on Thursday.
“Republicans have made far more concessions”
Her stance is not sitting well with negotiators across the aisle, including Republican colleagues in Congress and Trump administration representatives like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“I think it’s fair to say that Republicans have made far more concessions than Democrats,” Meadows declared.
Pelosi’s latest obstruction was not her first in response to GOP offers to extend the benefits. Roughly two weeks ago, she similarly expressed opposition to a deal, as reported by the Washington Times.
“I would be very much averse to separating this out and lose all leverage for meeting all of the other needs,” she told reporters at the time. “It’s a fraudulent tactic and with all due respect to you, an unworthy question when it comes to meeting the needs of America’s working families.”
Of course, real lives and livelihoods are on the line while Pelosi postures for her political base. It remains to be seen whether her constituents will press hard enough to encourage her to act.