There were massive expectations last month that lawmakers would reach a consensus on the coronavirus relief package by August 7. However, as negotiations moved closer to the deadline, it became clear that both Democrats and Republicans weren’t willing to hand over the other side a win. Now we are nearing the end of August, but still, there are no relevant signs of a stimulus package. However, there are a few signs suggesting some Democrats are growing impatient with no coronavirus relief package 2 yet.
Axne wants a ‘simplified, straightforward’ package
Prior to this week, Democrats seemed united with the leadership over the coronavirus relief package 2. This week, however, there are a few signs suggesting Democrats are growing increasingly worried over the coronavirus relief package stalemate.
One of the first signs that Democrats are growing impatient came from Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa). On Wednesday, Axne wrote a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to come up with a “simplified, straightforward COVID-19 relief package."
In the letter, Axne said that her "constituents and millions of others are relying on us to reach a deal that can deliver much-needed aid to those still under threat from COVID-19.”
Axne noted that the “simplified, straightforward” package should include another stimulus check, Payroll Protection Program (PPP), eviction moratorium, extend unemployment benefits to at least the end of the year and other things.
Axne said there are several provisions that both sides agree on. She requested Pelosi to pass these "measures in a COVID relief package in short order, further closing the gap of differences still to hammer out between our House Majority and the Administration."
Axne is one of the Democrats that does not fully approve of the HEROES Act. In May, she raised her voice against the provisions that do not seem fit for the relief package.
“The Heroes Act included many important policy provisions that would have helped everyone - but it also included handouts that had nothing to do with helping Americans during this crisis,” she said in May.
Another sign that Democrats are growing impatient over the coronavirus relief package 2 also came on Wednesday. More than 100 House Democrats wrote a letter to Pelosi urging her to resume talks on the coronavirus relief package. These Democrats are part of the New Democratic Coalition.
Separately, Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 26 fiscally conservative Democrats, also urged negotiators to restart negotiations on the next coronavirus relief package, notes a report from Bloomberg.
Members of the group requested Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to use the Saturday House vote as an opportunity to resume negotiations. The House is scheduled to vote on Saturday on legislation to protect the United States Postal Service.
Pelosi, however, is unlikely to vote on the relief package on Saturday. Though she acknowledged the ideas put forward by fellow Democrats, she believes the timing is not "strategically" right for it.
“The ideas Members have put forth have been excellent ….However, we must consider their timing and strategic value,” she said in a press release.