Amidst ongoing, failing stimulus negotiations, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have released a new statement in which they are calling for rent relief. Pelosi and Schumer's joint statement specifically addressed their Republican counterparts, whom they have blamed for this impasse regarding economic relief. Their statement focused on the growing need for rent relief, as they noted that over 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
In their statement, Pelosi and Schumer acknowledged that many Americans would be unable to pay their rent at the start of September through no fault of their own due to issues stemming from the current pandemic. They added that many others are facing "food insecurity, unsafe workplace protections, and being forced to send children to school when it is not safe to do so." The lawmakers continued to express that Republicans have failed to take this crisis seriously and that their lack of action has put Americans in a difficult position. They noted that it has been over three months since the House passed the HEROES Act, the stimulus package pushed forward by the Democrats.
Over 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction—yet Republicans refuse to recognize the needs of working families.
Senate Republicans have refused to take up the Heroes Act.September 1, 2020
"For over 100 days, Senate Republicans have refused to take up the Heroes Act which contains robust funding for rental assistance for struggling families," they expressed. "And the President has offered nothing but a weak and unworkable Executive Order that has done nothing to help working families, including many from communities of color, keep a roof over their heads." Pelosi and Schumer concluded their statement by urging the Republicans to join them to pass necessary stimulus legislation amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They added, "It's long past time for Republicans and President Trump to stop following the returns from Wall Street and wake up to the problems of Americans living on Main Street. Republicans must join House and Senate Democrats to respond to the growing need by doing everything in our power to keep families healthy, safe, and secure—in their own homes."
As their statement noted, it has been some time since the Democrats unveiled their own stimulus package, the HEROES Act. That plan did pass in the House in May, but it has made no further headway in Congress. In late July, Republicans unveiled their own package, the HEALS Act. Although, the two sides have still not been able to agree on any of their plans, as they have disagreed explicitly on the price point of the next stimulus package. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted that Senate Republicans plan to unveil a new package next week that will focus on children, jobs, and liability protections for small businesses.