House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday denied getting an earful from moderate Democrats who want a narrow coronavirus bill passed before Election Day.
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"They don’t say it to me," Pelosi said at a news conference where she touted the $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief plan the House already passed in May but that died in the Senate.
Pelosi said her Democratic caucus is unified and members tell her "we need to have a solution.”
It's been four months since there's been any meaningful progress on coronavirus relief legislation and swing district Democrats are clamoring for a deal to deliver aid to struggling families and businesses in their districts.
One of the boldest efforts of revolt came Tuesday when the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus revealed their $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan, with 25 Democrats breaking with their leadership and joining 25 Republicans on a compromise proposal.
Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., was among the backers of the plan and said his frustration with the leadership's failure to make a deal pales in comparison to the frustration of his constituents needing help.
"The pressure is loud and forthright and it is bipartisan in nature," Rose said of the urging on both GOP and Democratic leadership to move a "real" bill. "Because that pressure is reflective of where the American people are. They are sick and tired of politics."
Rose continued: "To the leadership, we said this very simple message: It's time for you to stop playing games. Let's stop the charade. Let's stop this stupidity. Let's put the country first."
The Problem Solvers' proposal appears to have shook loose some higher spending from the GOP side with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and President Trump both warming to the $1.5 trillion level.
Pelosi said Democrats have already compromised in their discussions with the White House -- dropping down from the $3.4 trillion from the HEROES Act to about $2.4 trillion. The highest the GOP has gone on paper is the roughly $1 trillion plan Senate Republicans put forth in July, but Democrats rejected.
The last Senate bill was about $300 billion, accounting for spending offsets.
"We have compromised," Pelosi said Thursday. "We came down a trillion dollars. We asked them to go up a trillion dollars, instead they went down."
"It's hard to see how we can go any lower," she added of the roughly $2 trillion price tag.
While Trump has urged Republicans to "go for the much higher numbers" in coronavirus spending, some conservatives want to pump the brakes on new spending.
"There are economic ramifications to doing this," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said. "We've accumulated nearly $4 trillion, maybe $5 trillion in debt in one year ... There's a great danger to adding so much debt at one time. It makes no economic sense."