Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other leading Democrats are once again refusing to compromise on a coronavirus aid package. Republicans have proposed a $500 billion aid package, while the Democrats are looking to spend closer to $3 trillion.
“Senate Republicans appear dead set on another bill, which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fired back in a statement, saying “Working families must not suffer more than necessary because Democrat leaders think citizens’ pain may help their political fortunes.”
One of the major battles when it comes to this aid package is whether to provide bailout money to states. Democrats insist that the federal government should be providing additional funding to states, or else they may have to lay off state employees. Republicans disagree, calling the proposal a “blue state bailout.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows spoke about the funding, saying: “We’re not going to bail out cities that have been poorly run for a long time.”
Another contentious point is the increased unemployment benefit that was enacted through the first COVID aid package, which gave up to $600 per week in increased benefits. Democrats want to extend those benefits in the new package, while Republicans want to decrease the payment to $300, and some want to remove the increased payment entirely. Republicans view the enhanced benefits as incentive not to work.
Democrats have also requested $60 billion in food assistance, while the Republican bill only allocates $250,000.
The Republicans have also rejected the Democrats proposal to include $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service, which has been losing money due to being poorly run for decades.
Democrats refuse to compromise on any of these issues and are continuing to reject any Republican attempt to trim down their proposals.