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Meadows calls for ‘skinny’ COVID relief package, Pelosi calls request ‘deficient’

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called on Democrats Saturday to pass a “skinny” COVID relief package instead of their postal service bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the request was “deficient.”

Saturday morning, Mr. Meadows, former North Carolina congressman, suggested a package could include renewing the Paycheck Protection Program and extension of unemployment benefits.

“Speaker Pelosi and Democrats: if you really want to help Americans, how about passing relief for small businesses and unemployment assistance ALONG with postal funding?” he tweeted. “We agree on these. There’s NO reason not to deliver relief for Americans right now.”

Mrs. Pelosi — referring to Mr. Meadows as “whats-his-name” — said it wasn’t doable because his package left too much out.

“He didn’t say anything about crushing the virus. He didn’t say anything about people who are being affected. He didn’t say anything about food insecurity among millions of America’s children. He didn’t say anything about state and local,” the California Democrat said.

“That’s completely unacceptable,” she added.

The Democrats’ bill, which they’re set to pass later Saturday, will give the Postal Service an additional $ 25 billion to cover revenue losses during the pandemic. It would also reverse policy changes implemented earlier this year and require that all election-mail be treated as first-class mail.

Senate Republicans said they won’t be taking up the Postal Service bill unless additional COVID relief is attached.

While the Democrats are united on wanting to pass this bill, over a hundred rank and file members have requested that Democratic leadership expand the agenda.

A large group of 117 lawmakers — that included both moderate and more liberal members of the party — petitioned Mrs. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, earlier this week to add a vote on a bill that would extend the $ 600 enhanced unemployment benefits, create a tiered phase-out system, and tie the benefits to economic triggers to avoid any partisan infighting to derail the benefits.

Mrs. Pelosi has resisted these calls but said she does “welcome their suggestions.”

The speaker refused to agree to any smaller packages during the COVID negotiations and defended deviating from that stance with the postal service bill.

“I’m not for splitting it up, except this is an emergency, and it has policy in it,” she said.

The talks on a larger COVID relief bill stalled earlier this month.

Mrs. Pelosi said Democrats are waiting for Republicans to bump up their topline number to around $ 2 trillion, while Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin says the GOP needs serious proposals from Democrats on unemployment and state and local funding.

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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