On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised that the House of Representatives would remain in session until another stimulus bill passes. She made this declaration during a conference call with the House Democratic Caucus, according to a report by The Hill. Pelosi said that she is not willing to leave for another Congressional recess until a comprehensive aid bill is passed.
"We have to stay here until we have a bill," Pelosi reportedly told the other lawmakers. She and other Democratic leaders previously came under fire for leaving Washington, D.C. with the stimulus package unresolved. The Republican-controlled United States Senate did the same — both in July and in August. Pelosi said she is not willing to go through that wait again, nor is she willing to accept a "skinny" bill with only part of the agenda included.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both legislatures of the U.S. Congress are under extreme pressure to get a second stimulus bill passed, after months of waiting and negotiation stalemates. For many of them, this issue is likely to be a deciding factor in their reelection campaigns, as Americans are fed up with the indecision on both sides.
Still, analysts say that Pelosi's promise might not have much impact at the end of the day. According to Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, most reps will likely still leave Washington, D.C. when the session ends of Oct. 2, whether a stimulus check has been passed or not.
"You could look at it as a distinction without a difference of the last few months," Hoyer told reporters. "But in another sense, it tells members, 'Look, we know the election's coming up, we know you want to go back and campaign. But understand this is a priority... and that we are going to address it as soon as we possibly can.'"
Pelosi appeared on CNBC on Tuesday after speaking with Democrats, making the announcement public. She told economic pundit Jim Cramer: "We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement." She did not offer any hope that the negotiations can go further this time, however, condemning the Senate's failed "skinny" bill from last week yet again by saying: "A skinny bill is a Republican bill."
Republicans have still refused to consider a stimulus package that costs over $1 trillion, while Democrats maintain that they will come no lower than $2.2 trillion. The gulf is looking insurmountable to many in Washington, and in the meantime, millions of unemployed Americans are going without help.