Partisan divide returns in U.S. Congress on coronavirus next steps




  • In US
  • 2020-03-29 15:12:34Z
  • By Reuters
Partisan divide returns in U.S. Congress on coronavirus next steps
Partisan divide returns in U.S. Congress on coronavirus next steps  

By Sarah N. Lynch, Chris Sanders and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fresh partisan divisions flared on Sunday on the next steps for the U.S. Congress in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, with the top House of Representatives Republican casting doubt on the need for more economic stimulus legislation while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled she plans to move forward with it.

President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a $2.2 trillion aid package - the largest on record - to address the economic downturn inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic after the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate put aside partisan differences to pass it nearly unanimously.

It was the third legislative package approved by lawmakers to address the mounting crisis.

"I'm not sure we need a fourth package," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Fox News program "Sunday Morning Futures," noting he wants to see the first three packages take effect first.

Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, told CNN's "State of the Union" program that the three bills already signed into law were merely a "down payment."

"We have to do more," Pelosi said, adding that the existing bills do not provide enough because "every single day, the need grows."

"We have to pass another bill that goes to meeting the need more substantially than we have. We have other issues that we have to deal with in the bill in terms of personal protective equipment and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules that protect workers," Pelosi said.

"We have to do more on family medical leave. We have to be able to make people who get tested also have their visit to the doctor covered," Pelosi added.


'MORE SUPPORT'

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Sunday he expects the stimulus package signed by Trump on Friday will provide economic relief overall for about 10 weeks. Mnuchin said his main focus now is on carrying out its provisions to get money to Americans as soon as possible.

"We also have the (coronavirus) task force and the medical professionals making recommendations to the president about when they think the economy will be re-opened, and if for whatever reason this takes longer than we think, we will go back to Congress and get more support for the American economy," Mnuchin said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

"But I hope that's not needed," Mnuchin added.

McCarthy's comments illustrated the continuing tensions between the two parties in Congress, raising questions about just how quickly they could come together to pass a fourth legislative package.

"What concerns me is when I listen to Nancy Pelosi talk about a fourth package now. It's because she did not get in the things she really wanted," McCarthy said, mentioning election law and environmental policy changes and funding for women's healthcare and abortion provider Planned Parenthood as initiatives he accused Pelosi of wanting to pursue.

The latest rescue package included a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 apiece to millions of U.S. families. It also provided $350 billion for small-business loans, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and at least $100 billion for hospitals and related health systems.

Republican Senator Rick Scott criticized the latest round of stimulus legislation even though he voted for it, saying it will hurt economic recovery because "we've created incentive for somebody to stay home rather than go to work because they make more money being at home."

Governors in numerous states have closed non-essential businesses and taken other steps to try to slow the spread of the pathogen.


(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Chris Sanders and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.
Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.

WASHINGTON -- In October, President Donald Trump declares a state of emergency in major cities in battleground states, like Milwaukee and Detroit, banning polling places from opening.A week before the election, Attorney General William Barr announces a criminal investigation into the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.After Biden wins a narrow Electoral College victory, Trump refuses to accept the results, won't leave the White House and declines to allow the Biden transition team customary access to agencies before the Jan. 20 inauguration.Far-fetched conspiracy theories? Not to a group of worst-case scenario planners -- mostly Democrats, but some anti-Trump Republicans as well...

Trump claims Jeff Sessions not
Trump claims Jeff Sessions not 'mentally qualified' to be AG as feud escalates

Trump's criticism of his former appointee is just the latest in a yearslong battle with Sessions.

Trump deems churches
Trump deems churches 'essential,' calls for them to reopen
  • World
  • 2020-05-22 18:02:42Z

President Donald Trump said Friday that he has deemed churches and other houses of worship "essential" and called on governors across the country to allow them to reopen this weekend, even as some parts of the nation remain under coronavirus lockdown. "Today I'm identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said during a hastily arranged press conference at the White House. Trump said that, "governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend."

Joe Biden, in testy interview, says
Joe Biden, in testy interview, says 'you ain't black' if you're undecided over him vs. Trump

Joe Biden, in a testy exchange with radio host Charlamagne tha God, said "you ain't black" if you're undecided on whether to back him or Trump.

Trump attacks Michigan AG after she calls him a
Trump attacks Michigan AG after she calls him a 'petulant child' over mask dispute

Trump said it wasn't Ford's fault he did not wear a mask during much of the tour. "I did put on a mask" out of the view of the news media, he added.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US