After Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi called lawmakers back early from their annual recess with Saturday's House vote on the U.S. Postal Service, many have stimulus negotiations on the brain. According to Bloomberg, several swing-state moderate Democrats in the House are asking Pelosi to use the vote on the Post Office to restart talks on the second stimulus package.
The Democrats, members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, have asked Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell to come back together to get the stimulus bill ready for Americans in need.
As the House prepares to vote this weekend on a bill to protect the United States Postal Service, we urge you to restart bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on a fifth Covid-19 relief package that is commensurate with the scale of this public health and economic crisis," the coalition wrote in a letter sent to the Congressional leaders on Friday. As of the time Bloomberg published their story, the letter had 17 signatures from the group's 26 members. This would give it enough to become an official position.
The letter hopes to bring the leaders back to "compromise" and deliver "much-needed support" to Americans who are represented by both parties. It comes on the heels of the latest Labor Department unemployment report that shows a surprising rise by more than 1.1 million after a drop the week before.
Stimulus talks stalled at the start of August as the Democratic package dropped $1 trillion to bring their total bill to $2.5 trillion. This is still way off from where GOP leaders and the White House see the bill, refusing to accept anything over $1 trillion. Republicans have no changed their position and remain where they were when talks ended, leading to the current situation.
This also led to Donald Trump signing a set of executive orders meant to sidestep Congress and send relief to citizens, or that was the claim made before the orders were analyzed. For the Blue Dog Democrats, any stimulus deal should include unemployment benefits, a direct payment, oversight on all the spending, aid to state and local governments and more. While they don't mention the $600 unemployment payment, they do want a payment as a "sufficient" level to allow people to "provide for their families and support local economies."