WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Though the election has taken place, Democrats and Republicans still can’t come to an agreement on a new COVID-19 stimulus package.
Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi say Congress needs to pass another COVID-19 aid package now. They point to the health crisis that has hospitals in some areas reaching maximum capacity. Cities and states around the country are issuing new rounds of shutdowns.
“The Republicans should stop their shenanigans about an issue that President Trump has already lost and focus their attention on the immediate issue at hand,” Schumer said.
“Yesterday,” Pelosi said, “our nation suffered a horrifying 144,000 new infections recorded.”
But GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy said it’s the Democrats who are playing politics because they blocked multiple votes for Republican proposals to release previously appropriated money.
“For PPP (personal protective equipment) there is more than $137 billion sitting there,” McCarthy said. “It’s only the date.”
Republicans say they want to pass a COVID stimulus package, too, but Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says the economic growth in the third quarter proves it doesn’t need to be another giant aid package.
“The idea of a multi-trillion dollar bill is not going to happen,” Romney said. “But we’re more likely to have something more targeted to places where there is specific need.”
The number of new COVID cases in the US surpassed 100,000 every day for the past 9 days. Democrats said they’re not sure how long the economic upturn will last.