WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats say Republicans are more focused on spreading lies about the election than negotiating, while Republicans continue to accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of not compromising.
What that all means: Congress has still not reached an agreement for another COVID-19 relief package.
“This is a red alert,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a Thursday press conference alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
They said Republicans are ignoring the pandemic, which continues to rage across the nation, while they peddle false conspiracies about the election.
“Thousands are dying,” Schumer said. “We don’t have time for these kinds of games.”
They argue Democrat Joe Biden’s projected presidential election victory proves Americans want a more aggressive approach to the pandemic than President Donald Trump’s administration has enacted. They called on Republicans to pass their more than $2 trillion relief package.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., said she’s ready for a compromise as hospitals in her state are overwhelmed and businesses are crippled.
“We really have to focus in on how we’re fighting this,” she said.
But despite some willingness to bend from rank-and-file lawmakers and months of debate, congressional leadership is divided as ever.
“The only thing that’s standing in the way, in my view, is Speaker Pelosi,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said.
He said Democrats have blocked Republican efforts to pass targeted relief for hospitals, businesses and the unemployed.
“They should drop this ridiculous partisan gamesmanship,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said, calling Democrats’ claims that Republicans are distracted by the election loss “nonsense.”
“Republicans are here,” he said. “We have attempted repeatedly to move a bill onto the floor.”
Negotiations between Pelosi and Republican leaders have not resumed since the election.