Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s calls to limit the next coronavirus relief package to $1 trillion, arguing that Congress will need to approve at least double that amount amid a surge in cases. “A trillion dollars is OK, that’s an interesting starting point. But that doesn’t come anywhere near,” Pelosi said at her news conference.
Congressional leaders, including Pelosi, are in the early stages of drafting a fifth mammoth aid bill to stave off a total collapse of the U.S. economy while infusing cash in health efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic. But Democratic and Republican leaders remain fiercely at odds over the size and scope of the package, raising questions about Washington’s ability to get it done in the next three weeks.
Pelosi said Congress needed to approve that package and send it to President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of this month, when lawmakers are slated to depart for their August recess. It’s the same timeline laid out by the White House and GOP lawmakers, though that is about the end of any agreement.