WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ As the U.S. Senate inches toward a bipartisan agreement on a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands ready with a $2.5 trillion request of her own.
Pelosi, D-California, is urging the Senate to amend its bill to better align with the values of her bill, which she hopes addresses the major hold up between Democrat and Republican senators.
“The Senate Republican bill put corporations first,” Pelosi said. “The ‘Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act’ is a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers.”
Rep. David Trone, D-Maryland, said corporations must come second to American workers.
“They’re suffering tremendous anxiety, a lot of stress, unbelievable job loss,” Trone explained.
But Senate Republicans have taken issue with Pelosi’s involvement in the negotiation process and have accused her of stalling action on their bill.
“This is a hijacking of a crisis to try and get permanent changes on a political agenda that they haven’t been able to get,” Sen. John Thune, R- South Dakota, said.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Pelosi’s bill isn’t focused on the crisis.
“It includes a host of proposals that have absolutely nothing to do with solving this crisis,” he said.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, defended Pelosi, telling Republicans that the Senate needs the support of the House leader to pass any bill to President Donald Trump’s desk.
“She has made positive statements in the hopes that we can reach a point where we have that bipartisan agreement – that would speed this up as it should be,” Durbin said.