After months of Washington gridlock, Congress is set to act on a $900 billion pandemic relief package. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said it includes direct payments to individuals and a boost to the Payment Protection Program. (Dec. 21)
- For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California seek recognition?
NANCY PELOSI: As different from bills that had been proposed on the Senate side by the Republican leader, it does things that his bill never did. And that is, it addresses the food needs of the American people. Maybe 15 million children are food insecure in our country, and adults as well. Millions of families are on the verge of eviction, and this legislation addresses the rental needs and a short-term moratorium. We can accept the short term because we'll have a new president during the length of that moratorium to extend it further if necessary.
We also have in the legislation direct payments, which were not in the Republican bill, to America's working families. I would like them bigger, but they are significant, and they will be going out soon. The president may insist on having his name on the check. But make no mistake, those checks are from the American people. The American people's name should be on that check, no individual.
So we have nearly approaching $1 trillion for the PPP, small business, which I support all the way, and $150 or $160 billion for state and local government, which enables the private sector to function, which enables us to crush the virus, which enables us to meet the needs of people.
So with that, I look forward to a strong bipartisan vote today on this legislation, respecting it for what it does, not judging it for what it does not, but recognizing that more needs to be done.
- Gentlewoman yields back.