Blue Dogs Urge Speaker Pelosi to Continue Negotiations on COVID-19 Relief Until Deal is Reached
Oct 2, 2020
WASHINGTON—Today, members of the Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to continue negotiations with the White House over the weekend on a fifth COVID-19 relief package until an agreement is reached.
The letter was signed by the following members of Blue Dog Coalition leadership: Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22). Additionally, the following Blue Dog Coalition members signed the letter: Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).
See below for the full text:
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
Thank you for your efforts to date to negotiate a fifth COVID-19 relief package that is commensurate with the scale of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Now that both the White House and House Democrats have put forward serious proposals, we urge you to continue the discussions over the weekend until a deal is achieved. We appreciate your tireless work to secure the best deal for the American people.
Because we have a divided government right now, the only path forward is a bipartisan bill that can pass a Democratic-led House and a Republican-led Senate, and be signed into law by a Republican President. By definition, this compromise bill will contain provisions we as Democrats do not like and omit provisions we want. But our country is in crisis, and we must not let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
As Members of Congress, we must do everything within our power to keep workers connected to their jobs and their employer-sponsored health coverage, assist the unemployed, support our health care workers and health care system, ensure that businesses who do right by their workers are given the necessary resources and protections to survive, and support state, local and tribal governments. Congress should stay here in Washington to keep negotiating, no matter how difficult, and we must reach an agreement.
The Blue Dog Coalition was the first House Democratic caucus to call on House and Senate leadership to restart bipartisan negotiations on a fifth COVID-19 relief package in an August 21 letter. The Blue Dogs have consistently called for bipartisan legislation that includes the following priorities: 1) an extension of unemployment insurance benefits; 2) measures to keep workers tethered to their jobs; 3) support for state, local, and tribal governments, K-12 schools, and institutions of higher education; 4) a second round of economic impact payments; and 5) stronger oversight of pandemic response spending. Following the August 21 letter, the Blue Dogs endorsed the “March to Common Ground” framework, which was developed by members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) in order to help break the gridlock on a fifth COVID-19 relief package, and included several bipartisan priorities backed by the Blue Dogs.