House committees to work on Covid-19 relief package next week: Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol. Bloomberg

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that House committees will work on a new Covid-19 relief package from next week.

"We're getting ready for a Covid relief package. We'll be working on that as we go," Xinhua news agency quoted Pelosi as saying at her weekly press conference on Thursday.

"We'll be doing our committee work all next week so that we are completely ready to go to the floor when we come back" at the beginning of February, she said.

Pelosi noted that the relief proposals from the Joe Biden administration build on many of the initiatives that were in previous packages drafted by House Democrats.

"It's what the people need, what the country needs to crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people, and honour our heroes," she said.

Pelosi's remarks came after Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary, on Tuesday urged Congress to "act big" with a new Covid-19 relief package.

"Economists don't always agree, but I think there is a consensus now: Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now -- and long-term scarring of the economy later," Yellen said at her confirmation hearing virtually held by the Senate Finance Committee.

Last week, Biden last week unveiled a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal which includes another round of direct payments to individuals, aid for state and local governments, increased unemployment benefits, as well as more funding for testing and vaccine distribution.

The proposal also includes direct payments of $1,400 per person for working families, which is on top of the $600 checks approved in the $900 billion relief package, bringing the total relief to $2,000.

It would boost federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week, up from the $300 per week approved in the $900 billion package, and extend the measure through the end of September.

The proposal also includes $350 billion in state and local government aid, a measure that has been sought by Democrats for months but has been rejected by Republicans in previous rounds of relief negotiations.

It's unclear whether the Biden administration would secure enough votes for a new massive relief package as it drew opposition from a growing number of congressional Republicans.

"The only organising principle that I can discern is it seems to spend as much money as possible, seemingly for the sake of spending it," Pat Toomey, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, said on Tuesday.

Toomey added that Biden's proposed package does not help Americans most in need, and makes it harder to come to a bipartisan agreement.




(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel