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Democrats weigh next steps after Trump backs bigger stimulus

By Billy House and Erik Wasson, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON - Some House Democrats are keeping pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring a new coronavirus relief bill up for a vote next week as they look to signal to voters that the party is pursuing a deal to bolster the economy.

Pelosi said Thursday that voting on some version of a Democratic stimulus bill is one of the options that's been under discussion within the party to break the impasse with the White House and Senate Republicans.

Some Democrats want to vote again on the $3.4 trillion stimulus package the House passed in May, she said at a news conference, while some lawmakers don't want to advance any legislation until they have an agreement with the Trump administration.

"Others will say let's just put our own proposal on the floor," Pelosi added.

Pelosi expressed confidence that Democrats are united in their approach and that she felt no pressure to change her strategy. "We are in a good place," she said.

Swing-district Democrats have privately pressed for a vote on a $2.2 trillion bill representing the current Democratic offer in negotiations, even if there is little chance of it getting through the Republican-controlled Senate. But Pelosi and other members of party leadership insist that no decision has been made on holding another vote without first reaching some kind of deal with Republicans.


President Donald Trump's embrace on Wednesday of a bigger stimulus package than his administration had previously backed and that Senate Republicans have said they'd go for has revived some hopes that a deal could be struck before the November election.

But there have been no new negotiations between Pelosi and the White House since talks broke off last month and many lawmakers remain skeptical that an agreement can be pulled off.

Trump said he liked "the larger numbers" in a compromise $1.5 trillion stimulus plan from a bipartisan group of House lawmakers even though many Republicans have dismissed it as too big. Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer welcomed Trump's shift while reinforcing their demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

"We have come down a trillion dollars" from the bill passed in May, Pelosi said. "It's hard to see how you can go any lower when you only have a greater need."


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