After months of fruitless negotiations to develop and pass a new COVID-19 stimulus bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly told the White House on Tuesday to give up until after the election. But the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members, is still trying to talk McConnell out of it.
The caucus' 18 Republican and 25 Democratic members declared in a Wednesday statement that "it is critical Congress act immediately to pass bipartisan relief legislation," as "time is running out for the American people." If talks stop until after the election, it could be February until they begin again, the caucus noted. So it's encouraging the Trump administration to include a national testing strategy in the next relief bill, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed for. And it wants McConnell to take a vote on the House and White House's proposal. Without these measures, families and businesses "will continue to suffer needlessly as a result of Congress failing to do its job," the caucus said.
NEW: The day after McConnell told his members that he urged the WH to wait until after the election to agree to a COVID bill, the Problem Solvers writes to Congressional leaders and Trump that waiting would be a "missed opportunity," noting the election could kill talks til Feb. pic.twitter.com/vyLdY6LrKI
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) October 21, 2020
The last coronavirus relief package expired in July, ending boosted unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who remain without jobs.