WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Congress and the White House still don’t completely agree on a COVID-19 relief package, and patience on both sides of the aisle is growing thin.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, called the situation an “economic catastrophe.” He said the federal government must act to help the Americans who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.
Cicilline said Democrats stand ready to compromise, but Republicans need to play ball.
“We all want to get something done,” he said.
A sticking point in moving the relief package forward continues to be providing additional aid to state and local governments.
“They have contempt for science and disdain for state and local government,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said. “We don’t negotiate with ourselves, we negotiate with the other side on this.”
But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, blames Pelosi for the impasse.
“The common denominator here in every COVID relief package we have done, Speaker Pelosi has either slowed or delayed the action,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said Pelosi isn’t focused on helping Americans.
“I think knowing her well, she cares more about politics than she does about the people,” he said. “And that’s unfortunate. That’s why she should not be fit for that job.”
Cicilline said Pelosi has made it clear that they’re ready to negotiate, “but it has to be real relief.”
“So far, Republicans have been unwilling to agree to that,” he said.
House Democrats are still hoping that their HEROES Act has a path forward.