Pelosi, Schumer Demand Sen. McConnell Finally Come to Negotiating Table This Week to Produce Bipartisan, Bicameral Comprehensive COVID-19 Relief Agreement That Meets the Needs of Country

November 17, 2020
Press Release

While Democrats Have Negotiated in Good Faith With Trump Admin for Months and Lowered Their Request by $1.2 Trillion, Sen. McConnell Cut His Already-Insufficient Proposal in Half Despite Consensus From Economists and Experts That the Country Requires a Much Larger Injection of Federal Aid

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today sent a new letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting he join them at the negotiating table this week to produce a bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 relief agreement that meets the needs of the country.

In the letter, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer note that earlier this year during negotiations with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows, Democrats agreed to compromise on a relief package and lowered their request by $1.2 trillion. Since that time, Senator McConnell lowered his proposal from $1 trillion to $500 billion, despite the consensus from economists and experts that the country requires a much larger injection of aid.

Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer’s letter to Senator McConnell can be viewed here and below:

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November 17, 2020

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader

S-230, The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Leader McConnell:

We were encouraged by your comments shortly after the election that you believe the Congress needs to act on another COVID-19 relief package and that “it’s a possibility we will do more for state and local governments.”  We agree with you.  We write to request that you join us at the negotiating table this week so that we can work towards a bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 relief agreement to crush the virus and save American lives. 

The dual public health and economic crises caused by COVID-19 continue to devastate communities across the United States.  What is becoming clear to all Americans is that we cannot achieve real economic recovery until we address the expanding public health crisis.  Confirmed COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the country with reporting averaging over 100,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day.  Last Friday, the US recorded more than 181,000 new cases, the highest number to date in the pandemic.  Deaths from COVID-19 have increased 50 percent in the last month.  Hospital ICUs and morgues in many parts of the country are approaching or beyond capacity, with temporary hospital tents and mobile morgues being deployed in a number of states.  Hospitalizations set a national record for three days in a row last week.  Over 20 million Americans are receiving Unemployment Insurance, with critical unemployment benefits expiring at the end of December and 5 million Americans in long-term unemployment on track to exhaust their benefits soon.  Our small businesses and state, local and tribal governments are warning of dramatic closures and cuts if the Congress does not act immediately. 

Earlier this year during negotiations with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows, we agreed to compromise on a relief package and lowered our request by $1.2 trillion. Since that time, you have lowered your proposal from $1 trillion to $500 billion, despite the consensus from economists and experts that the country requires a much larger injection of aid.  Meaningful relief requires aid to schools, small businesses, and individuals where the virus has torn through communities and left many stranded without help.  Hospitals need more support to help save those who are sick and state and local governments need funding for essential workers and to distribute vaccines.  Millions of unemployed Americans and those facing eviction and hunger demand action from their leaders.  The time to act is upon us like never before.

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession will not end without our help.  It is essential that this bill have sufficient funding and delivers meaningful relief to the many Americans who are suffering.  For the sake of the country, we ask that you come to the table and work with us to produce an agreement that meets America’s needs in this critical time.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter. 

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House                                   

U.S. House of Representatives

Charles E. Schumer

Democratic Leader

U.S. Senate