With the second round of stimulus checks still nowhere in sight, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rejected the idea of a Saturday vote on unemployment extension relief. According to The Hill, Reps. Scott Peters (California), Derek Kilmer (Washington), and Don Beyer (Virginia) got more than 100 Democrats to join them in a push for holding a weekend vote on enhanced unemployment insurance. Pelosi has resisted this move, however, as she feels that doing this could hurt negotiations over a new comprehensive coronavirus relief bill.
"That's a very positive initiative. I have encouraged that, I have welcomed that suggestion," Pelosi said during a PBS NewsHour interview. "I don't think strategically it's where we should go right now, because the Republicans would like to pass something like that and say forget about it."
Pelosi continued: "Forget about state and local [government funding], forget about our investments in stopping the virus, forget about other initiatives that feed the food insecure children in our country, vote by mail initiatives and the rest." She also stated that if the House passed a singular unemployment bill, she worries that Senate Republicans would amend it to include "poison pills."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Judy Woodruff to discuss her reaction to the first virtual convention, legislative action on the U.S. Postal Service and more.https://t.co/JeLrmGC0eJ— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) August 21, 2020
"I don't think it's done by giving them an out," Pelosi said of trying to work with Republicans in order to reach a deal on coronavirus aid."I think it's done by making them come into the negotiation." She further reiterated her position in a letter sent to her colleagues late Thursday night, but praised her fellow House Democrats. "The ideas Members have put forth have been excellent," she said. "However, we must consider their timing and strategic value. They cannot come at the expense of addressing the priorities of the Heroes Act — particularly support for our heroes in state and local government and education, who are in crisis."
In the letter from Peters, Kilmer and Beyer, the Representative wrote: "While there are various proposals to extend unemployment benefits, the only way to provide financial relief to millions of Americans without being subject to political hurdles, is to enact automatic stabilizers for unemployment benefits. [...] By passing legislation that ties unemployment benefits to economic triggers, we can ensure that aid is restored to those who need it and prevent future lapses as long as the economy tells us aid is needed."