House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on President Donald Trump and the Republicans on Capitol Hill to provide more funding during the coronavirus pandemic.
“A massive dereliction of duty. People are dying. And so what we are saying to the Senate, join us in asking the president to use executive action for good instead of ill as he has done, and pass the Heroes Act,” said Pelosi on Thursday.
Watch Pelosi’s remarks in the video player above.
“It would mean for our schools, because across the country, the angst that people are reporting to us about the anxiety they have about their children, the decision to whether as to whether to send their children to school.”
This comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is poised to release the GOP’s $1 trillion package as soon as next week.
That plan is a counteroffer to the sweeping $3 trillion proposal that House Democrats approved in May, as the outbreak spreads and the economic fallout deepens.
It’s been months since McConnell hit “pause” on new spending, as he puts it, and Republicans now face a potentially more dire situation.
They had hoped the pandemic would ease and the economy would recover. Instead, coronavirus cases are spiking, states are resuming shutdowns and parents are wondering if it’s safe to send children back to school.
Both the House and Senate have similar priorities: help schools reopen, provide unemployment benefits for jobless Americans and ramp up health care testing, treatments and a vaccine. But they differ broadly in size and scope.
House Democrats provided $100 billion for school reopenings in an education stabilization fund that Senate Democrats say could swell to $430 billion to include more money for child care, colleges and other needs. Senate Republicans are floating the idea of $50 billion to $75 billion in education funds; talks are ongoing.
This would be the fifth virus rescue bill since spring. Such an unprecedented federal intervention has occurred as Congress races to provide a comprehensive national strategy to try to bring the pandemic under control.
Polling shows Americans are increasingly uneasy over Trump’s handling of the outbreak. Members of Congress are hoping to ease the health and economic crises before lawmakers, like the president, face voters in November.