WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden spoke with Democratic Congressional leaders Thursday, and much of the focus of the call was about the urgent need for stimulus relief.
So far, there is no stimulus deal in sight.
As the country awaits a new president and new Congress, lawmakers continue to point the blame on one another for failing to negotiate a COVID-19 relief package.
“The Republican refusal to deal with reality is hurting the country in many ways,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.
On the other side of the fence, Republicans say Pelosi is to blame. And Democrats argue that Republicans are too focused on denying the election results.
Democrats are still hopeful for a comprehensive package.
“The Heroes Act passed in the House does meet this moment. It doesn’t pick and choose who we’re going to help during the greatest economic crises in decades,” Schumer said.
Meantime Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy said it’s inexcusable for Democrats not to support some measures like money for small businesses — a plan separate from the larger package.
“That money, the PPP goes to small businesses. It doesn’t go to the owners, it goes to the employees! It pays the rent,” McCarthy said.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said both sides want to extend unemployment benefits, approve small business relief, and bailout the airline industry.
“Well there are a number of places where Republicans and Democrats agree,” Romney said.
However, he says as long as Democrats insist on stimulus checks for individuals and billions of state and local governments there won’t be a deal.
“Sending out checks to all those individuals strikes me as again an unnecessary burden of borrowing. And most Republicans, I think as well, don’t feel that’s something we should support,” Romney said.
When asked if targeting certain causes issue by issue would move the negotiations along lawmakers said that wouldn’t work either.
“That’s not enough. That’s not worth me getting on a plane to Washington D.C. and pretending that we’re sending help when we really know we’re not sending help to our constituents,” Norma Torres (D-CA) said.
Torres said from housing to hunger — Americans are struggling. She says the risk of doing too little outweighs spending too much.
“It is unfair that Congress refuses to provide any assistance,” Torres.