After rejecting a $1.5 trillion bipartisan stimulus compromise supported by 50 House lawmakers, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vowed to hold the chamber hostage – announcing that the House will remain in session until the parties reach an agreement on the next round of coronavirus relief.
During a conference call with the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi said she wouldn’t accept a “skinny” deal – and would instead extend the chamber’s calendar until a deal she approves of is struck, according to The Hill.
“We have to stay here until we have a bill,” she told lawmakers.
The surprise development reflects both the severity of the public health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the growing pressure Pelosi is facing from the moderate wing of her party, which is clamoring for leadership to vote on another aid package before Congress leaves town again for the elections.
The practical effects of the announcement, however, will likely be slight.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged that most lawmakers will likely return to their districts when the scheduled session ends on Oct. 2, leaving party leaders seeking to hash out an agreement with the White House. If such a deal emerges, then members would be called back to Washington. In that sense, the dynamics would look very similar to those surrounding the long August recess, when the Capitol was all but empty. –The Hill