Progressives stepped up their calls for the next coronavirus relief package to include ramped up unemployment insurance and direct payments to Americans as Congress looks to cobble together a package.
In a letter to House and Senate leadership, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) said the unemployment benefits should last six months and the stimulus checks should total $2,000. The letter was sent Saturday but published Tuesday after it was announced that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian defense system | Veterans groups, top Democrats call for Wilkie’s resignation | Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon board OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Countries roll out 2030 Paris Accord goals amid US absence | Biden eyes new EPA picks as Nichols reportedly falls from favor | Kerry faces big job on climate, US credibility Bipartisan group unveils two-part 8 billion coronavirus package MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP warns Biden against picking Sally Yates as attorney general Top GOP senators acknowledge Biden as president-elect after Electoral College vote Senate GOP leaders seek to put an end to election disputes MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGovernment spending bill to include bipartisan energy provisions OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Countries roll out 2030 Paris Accord goals amid US absence | Biden eyes new EPA picks as Nichols reportedly falls from favor | Kerry faces big job on climate, US credibility Trump faces bipartisan, international pushback on Western Sahara recognition MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRep. Paul Mitchell leaving GOP Members of both parties hail Supreme Court decision Pelosi: GOP ‘brought dishonor to the House’ for supporting election lawsuit MORE (R-Calif.) would meet Tuesday evening.
Current negotiations have thus far been fruitless, but momentum on Capitol Hill has been driven by a bipartisan, bicameral, two-part plan totaling about $908 billion. However, progressives have railed against the proposal, noting it does not include stimulus payments and that it doesn’t include enough unemployment insurance.
The CPC demanded that the next package include “funding to provide for at least six months of unemployment insurance (UI) in addition to direct cash payments, to ensure that meaningful relief reaches Americans who need it most. This type of direct assistance has proven to be critical to lifting people out of poverty and have been among the most effective programs to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The letter from the CPC, which was signed by 17 of its members, underscored the litany of aspects congressional leaders will have to weigh in crafting an agreement.
Two of the largest stumbling blocks have been funding for state and local governments, pushed for by Democrats, and liability…
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