House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s failure to secure financial assistance for Planned Parenthood in a historic coronavirus relief package has her talking about a new one, according to a top Republican lawmaker.
California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, said it is too soon to talk about a fourth bill designed to support workers and businesses who are hurting because of restrictive social distancing measures meant to stem the spread of the virus, and suggested that Democrats are already posturing for provisions they failed to get into the last one.
“I’m not sure we need a fourth package. And before we go to start drafting a fourth package, I’d like these three packages we just put out — remember, it’s more than $2 trillion, the largest we have ever seen — to take care and get this economy moving. Remember, for unemployment insurance, we’re adding another $600 above what your state pays,” McCarthy said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures.
“We start paying in the first week, and we give you additional 13 weeks. What concerns me is, when I listen to Nancy Pelosi talk about a fourth package now, it’s because she didn’t get in the things that she really wanted to change: the election law, a Green New Deal, expand — make us pay for Planned Parenthood, and expand what you’re seeing for sanctuary cities,” he added. “Those are the things why this bill was held up for a week, but those are the things that we stopped.”
Congress passed a bipartisan $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package last week that was signed by President Trump, but it was held up as lawmakers debated what should be included in the legislation. Multiple Republicans claimed a small business section provision that would have given assistance to Planned Parenthood, a healthcare nonprofit organization that is also the nation’s largest abortion provider, was a major issue holding up the bill.
Even the final product, which most lawmakers approved and acknowledged will help workers and businesses, had Republicans complaining of extraneous provisions that did not appear to have anything to do with the coronavirus. This included $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Before the historic relief package was passed last week, Pelosi said lawmakers must begin drafting a fourth relief package to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the bill making it’s way through Congress was insufficient to address the needs of state and local governments, workers, and other entities affected by the spread of the virus.
As the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. rose to the quadruple digits, Pelosi criticized Trump for his administration’s response to the pandemic.
“His denial at the beginning was deadly,” Pelosi told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, adding that, “as he “fiddles, people are dying.”
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