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Newsweek/ Pelosi Says She Backs Smaller Stimulus Because Biden Won; Rejecting Higher Offer 'Was Not a Mistake'
President-elect Joe Biden on Friday said that another round of coronavirus stimulus checks for U.S. families “may be still in play.”
“I think it would be better if they had the $1,200 [payments to families],” Biden said when asked at a press conference to respond to criticism about a new Covid relief plan revealed this week as a starting point for the latest round of negotiations on Capitol Hill.
Biden added: “And I understand that may be still in play. But, I’m not going to comment on the specific details. The whole purpose of this is, we’ve got to make sure people aren’t thrown out of their apartments, lose their homes, are able to have unemployment insurance [that] they can continue to feed their families on as we grow back the economy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have backed a bipartisan $908 billion relief plan as a basis for talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Friday that she was willing to move forward with a smaller coronavirus relief package with President-elect Biden headed to the White House and a vaccine on the way.
Pelosi previously encountered criticism for not supporting a moderate Democratic proposal, insisting on a much larger price tag. The current proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats working to find bipartisan solutions, is $908 billion, significantly less than the $1.5 trillion proposed before the election. In October, the White House had also proposed a $1.8 trillion package, roughly twice the size of the one Pelosi is now backing.
When asked about her shift on supporting the much smaller package, Pelosi cited "a new president and a vaccine."
She added that the current proposal "has simplicity, it's what we had in our bills, it's for a shorter period of time, but that's O.K. now because we have a new president."
Despite a refusal for roughly the past six months to advance a smaller aid package that she deemed "half a loaf," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now willing to support a bipartisan stimulus bill worth less than half her previous demand thanks to, in part, Joe Biden's victory.
"That is a total game changer: a new president and a vaccine," the California Democrat told reporters on Friday.
In addition, Pelosi said she has no qualms about rejecting the Trump administration's offer before the election that was more than double the $900 billion proposal gaining steam in Congress that lawmakers now hope to pass.
"That was not a mistake, it was a decision, and it has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don't want," Pelosi expounded. "The fact is, I'm very proud of where we are."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Friday she would accept a coronavirus stimulus package after months of stalled negotiations.
Pelosi, who has held out on a big deal for around six months, said at a Friday press conference that now that Joe Biden is President-elect, she is willing to do a smaller deal. A bipartisan group introduced a $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package Tuesday morning.
“That is a total game-charger: a new president and a vaccine,” Pelosi said. “It’s for a shorter period of time, but that’s OK now, because we have a new president,” Pelosi added.