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House Democrats Block Latest Republican Effort To Pass A Stimulus Bill

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House Democrats blocked a Republican-led discharge petition, which would have allowed them to temporarily take control of the chamber and pass their preferred coronavirus relief bill.

The petition, filed by Washington State Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, was cosigned by 185 Republicans but fell short of the 218 votes necessary to pass. Its failure is the 40th time House Democrats have blocked some type of legislation from passing the chamber.

The petition’s failure also means that Americans will likely have to wait longer for some type of government relief. Congress has not passed a stimulus since March, and has been unable to agree on an additional stimulus package even though temporary unemployment benefits passed to mitigate the economic effects imposed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic expired in July.

In September, 23 moderate Democrats wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer urging them to “continue bipartisan negotiations” in order to “deliver meaningful relief for the American people,” but their message was ultimately unsuccessful.

Though it seemed at times like Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has negotiated on behalf of President Donald Trump and Republicans, were close to reaching a deal, no compromise has been reached.

While Pelosi has argued for a stimulus exceeding $2 trillion, congressional Republicans have supported plans that provide closer to $1 trillion. Pelosi has also rejected multiple Republican proposals and a $1.5 trillion bipartisan deal reached by the House Problem Solvers Caucus.

Though Trump has called for a large stimulus plan, any Democrat-led plan that passes the House would likely fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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