Post-election rancor clouds chances for COVID relief bill


By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press

Nov 12, 2020


WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s top allies on Capitol Hill adopted a combative posture on COVID-19 relief on Thursday, pressing their case for a $2 trillion bill that’s a nonstarter for Republicans and faulting the GOP for dragging its feet on acknowledging Biden’s victory.


The message from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. — both of whom witnessed disappointing outcomes in House and Senate races last week — was that Republicans should concede Biden won and immediately return to negotiations on COVID relief, with the Democrats’ $2.4 trillion “HEROES Act” as the starting point.


“It’s most unfortunate that the Republicans have decided that they will not respect the will of the people,” Pelosi told reporters. “It’s like the house is burning down, and they just refuse to throw water on it.”


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated that Republicans controlling the Senate simply won’t accept a bill of the size that Schumer and Pelosi want.


“That’s not a place I think we’re willing to go. But I do think there needs to another package. Hopefully, we can get past the impasse we’ve had now for four or five months and get serious about doing something that’s appropriate,” McConnell told reporters.


Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy of California, speaking just minutes later from the same podium, accused Pelosi of playing politics with COVID...