Pelosi: Democrats willing to cut COVID-19 bill in half to get a deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that Democrats in Congress are willing to cut their coronavirus relief bill in half to get an agreement on new legislation with the White House and Republicans.

“We have to try to come to that agreement now,” Pelosi said in an online interview with Politico. “We’re willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now. We’ll take it up again in January. We’ll see them again in January. But for now, we can cut the bill in half.”

But her remarks did not signal a new position for Democrats, according to a senior aide.

The Democratic-led House passed legislation with over $3 trillion in relief in May. This month, Democrats offered to reduce that sum by $1 trillion, but the White House rejected it.

The two sides remain about $2 trillion apart, with wide gaps on funding for schools, aid to state and local governments, and enhanced unemployment benefits.

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