Pelosi wants $45 billion in new COVID money, double White House ask, after Dems nixed last request

Pelosi pushes for more federal spending, amid concerns about inflationary impact, national debt nears $31 trillion

Published: March 17, 2022 1:35pm

Updated: March 17, 2022 5:35pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday another COVID-19 stimulus package of about $45 billion will soon be considered in her Democratic-led chamber.

"I think we need even more money than the compromise was," the California Democrat said at the news conference – after $15 billion in relief funding was removed from the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed last week.

Pelosi said the spending would have to be "offset" but didn't specify whether it would be with spending costs or tax increases and acknowledged, "We don't have it right now."

The White House has requested $22 billion in COVID relief funding.

Pelosi said the package should be "double" what the White House has requested, despite members of her own conference having forced the removal of the $15 billion from the omnibus budget bill over objections that some of it would be paid for with unused pandemic-relief money.

"We know we have to do more," Pelosi said. "You must ask for more because you need more and you can't expect this to turn around like that because the legislative process takes time. ... Let's just go for a bigger chuck."

Pelosi said the debate over additional stimulus funds "shouldn't even be a big conversation – we need it."

Pelosi cited former President Barack Obama and the Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin recently testing positive for COVID-19 as evidence that the pandemic is not over. 

The U.S. government has spent more than $5 trillion during the coronavirus pandemic. The national debt is approaching $31 trillion for the first time. 



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