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Schumer: Trump should back Dems' $2.2T COVID stimulus bill since voters 'repudiated' his approach

"The Joe Biden approach was embraced and that's why we think there's a better chance to get a bill in the lame duck," Schumer says

Updated: November 12, 2020 - 2:58pm

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that President Trump should support the House Democrats' COVID-19 stimulus bill since his "approach" to the pandemic was "repudiated" in the presidential election.

"This election was maybe more a referendum on who can handle COVID well than anything else. The Donald Trump approach was repudiated," Schumer said during a joint news conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

"The Joe Biden approach was embraced and that's why we think there's a better chance to get a bill in the lame duck if only the Republicans would stop embracing the ridiculous shenanigans that Trump is forcing them to do in the election and focus on what people need," he added.

The term "lame duck" refers to the time left in the current session of Congress after an election takes place.

Pelosi argued that Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has "a mandate to address the challenges our country faces as well as to have a positive initiative on how to grow the economy in a fair way and in order to do that we must address the pandemic."

Schumer also pointed out that the Senate did not pass the $3 trillion HEROES bill as well as the updated $2.2 trillion version that the House passed before the election. The bill includes additional federal funding for testing as well as more funding for states and localities. It also includes another round of stimulus checks for U.S. citizens, and the bill would allow illegal immigrants who filed tax returns with tax identification numbers to collect stimulus payments. 

Democrats lost seats in the House but they are projected to keep their majority. The GOP could keep its Senate majority depending on the outcome of the two Georgia runoff races. Schumer said the election results were "an overwhelming referendum" on Trump. 

"So yes we think there has been change. It should move things in our direction. We're willing to sit down and talk," the New York lawmaker said.

Pelosi said Biden's COVID-19 plans are similar to the proposals put forth by congressional Democrats.  

"What they have been proposing is very similar to what we have in the HEROES Act and we just have to fight to make sure that if the Republicans decide that they don't care about the health and well-being about Medicaid and what it means to people in their lives that the public will know," she said.

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