Schumer: Senate GOP in 'disarray' over another stimulus package that 'will never become law'
"Here we are still waiting for Republicans to put together a partisan bill that will never become law just so they can muster up the courage to negotiate," Schumer says. "We need a specific proposal — a bill."
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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Senate Republicans are in "disarray" and "fighting among themselves" over the next stimulus package and argued that they are considering certain proposals that won't pass out of the chamber.
"They have been so divided, so disorganized, so unprepared that they have struggled to even draft a partisan proposal within their own conference. They can't come together," Schumer said at a press conference alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The Republican disarray and dithering has serious potentially deadly consequences for tens of millions of Americans."
Schumer said the Senate Democratic Caucus is in "full support" the House's $3 trillion HEROES Act. The bill would provide more $1,200 direct payments, two rounds of stimulus payments for illegal immigrants who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, expanded mail voting provisions for the November election, increased U.S. Postal Service funding as well as $1 trillion in federal assistance for state and local governments.
"Here we are still waiting for Republicans to put together a partisan bill that will never become law just so they can muster up the courage to negotiate," Schumer said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the Senate GOP is likely to propose another round of stimulus checks instead of a payroll tax holiday.
Schumer said he's hearing that Senate Republicans might propose a series of "disjoined small proposals" rather than a large stimulus package. He criticized the GOP for reportedly considering extending the $600 federal weekly jobless benefit at a lower amount, potentially $400 per week.
"Republicans are fighting with themselves over how much to cut unemployment benefits," he said. "We need a specific proposal – a bill."
Pelosi said she's "all for the $600 because people really need it."
The California Democrat also said it doesn't appear that the Senate GOP is going to propose more federal funding for state and local governments.
"This is a crisis for our country," she said. "As we do in legislating, when they offered their bills before, they offered their first version of the CARES Act, we countered."
Pelosi said she anticipated a "counter" proposal to the HEROES Act from the Senate GOP.
"This doesn't reconcile with the needs of the American people," she said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office was not available for comment before publication.
Pelosi and Schumer were asked whether they have seen a draft proposal from the Senate GOP on paper and Pelosi said no.
"We learned some of it early this morning. It was what we learned from K street," she said. "You think we're going to negotiate the amount of money here in this room? No."
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