March 14, 2020

MADAME PRESIDENT:

Pelosi Passes Virus Response Bill, Filling Vacuum Left by Trump (Billy House, March 14, 2020, Bloomberg)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump haven't spoken in months, but the California Democrat seized the initiative to strike a deal with the White House on a broad measure aimed at helping Americans cope with the spiraling effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

After Trump didn't deliver on a promised announcement of a "major" economic stimulus package, Pelosi and House Democrats on Wednesday put out their own plan to ease some of the economic impact on workers and families. That began a series of negotiations between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the course of three days and more than two dozen phone calls.

The end result was a rare bit of bipartisanship. The House, with the president's support, passed a bill early Saturday morning on a 363-40 vote to provide paid sick leave, money for food stamps, bolstered unemployment insurance and significant new funding for Medicaid. Those are all are long-held Democratic priorities, though in this version they are scaled back and temporary.

For Pelosi, it was a chance to step into a leadership vacuum and to demonstrate Americans in an election year how a Democratic-led government would function.

"We could have passed our bill yesterday," Pelosi said Friday night. "But we thought it was important to show the American people, that for the American people, that we are willing and able to work together to get a job done for them."

Donald who?
Posted by at March 14, 2020 8:55 AM

  

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