Rep. Ilhan Omar attacks Democratic leader for allegedly 'caving' to GOP on coronavirus relief
Rep. Omar’s campaign paid $2.8 million to firm co-owned by her husband
The Hill columnist Joe Concha says a Republican lawmaker in a similar situation would receive more coverage from mainstream media outlets.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., expressed frustration at her party's leadership on Tuesday, suggesting that it was "caving" to Republican demands on coronavirus relief after leading Democrats to believe they could get a bigger package.
"For months now people were told to hold out for a more comprehensive relief, caving in now is a slap in the face," she said.
"We can’t let Republicans force state and local governments into bankruptcy, as Mitch [McConnell] suggested. Going from $3 trillion in the Heroes ACT to this, is not leadership."
She was responding to a post about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who reportedly cited House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in his push for slimmed down relief.
On Sunday, Hoyer indicated to CNN that he might be willing to forgo state and local funding, a key sticking point in negotiations.
"If we can get [state and local assistance], we want to get it, but we want to get aid out to the people who are really, really struggling and are at great risk," he said.
Mariel Saez, Hoyer's deputy communications director, told Fox News on Tuesday: "Mr. Hoyer has been very clear that he supports funding for state and local governments, and he has worked for months to have it included in the final package."
For months, Congress has been unable to compromise on coronavirus relief while Americans face worsening financial circumstances.
Democrats resisted Republicans and those in their own party who attempted to scale back the size of relief. Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated that she had become open to smaller legislation after the 2020 elections.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats working to find bipartisan solutions, had proposed $908 billion, significantly less than the $1.5 trillion proposed before the election. In October, the White House had also proposed a $1.8 trillion package, roughly twice the size of the one Pelosi said she would support.
When asked about her shift on supporting the much smaller package, Pelosi cited "a new president and a vaccine."
She added that the current proposal "has simplicity, it's what we had in our bills, it's for a shorter period of time, but that's O.K. now because we have a new president."
On Monday, a bipartisan group of senators released an even smaller package costing $700 billion. If leadership pursues that bill, it will likely encounter even more pushback from progressive members of the House as that bill excludes direct payments to struggling Americans.
"We are fighting for direct cash relief because it helps people cover basic expenses like groceries and rent, in tandem with unemployment benefits," Omar tweeted. "We can’t go adjourn without it."
Fellow "Squad" Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., appeared to back direct payments in a tweet that simply read: "Survival checks now."
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