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Nancy Pelosi begins talk of next coronavirus relief bill as she tells House Democrats to ‘recognize the good’ in stimulus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats that it’s important to “recognize the good” in the $2 trillion stimulus package on which the White House and Senate leaders struck a deal early Wednesday morning.

Those comments came just after Pelosi told House Democrats on a series of conference calls that she is already thinking about the substance of the fourth coronavirus relief package that Congress will have to pass to respond to the crisis, according to sources on the calls.

The legislation, aimed at providing a jolt to an economy struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, would be the largest emergency aid package in US history if it passes Congress. An exact time for the Senate vote has not yet been scheduled and it’s not yet clear when the House will vote to approve the measure.

“What is important is for us to recognize the good that is in the bill, appreciate it for what it does. Don’t judge it for what it doesn’t because we have more bills to come,” the California Democrat told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

On the earlier call, Pelosi made it clear to members who are disappointed that the pending bill did not include enough of their priorities that they will have a chance to add those provisions in the fourth package, the sources said.

“At the start of all this we had two bills, which were about emergencies … and the emergency isn’t over, but the focus was on those two bills. Now we’re mitigating for the damage of it all to the health and to the livelihood of the American people,” Pelosi told CNN. “That is in this bill. And then we will go forward for recovery. Emergency, mitigation, recovery.”

“And again all along the way still addressing the emergency and mitigation needs by focusing on how we build the economy in a positive way as we meet the health needs of the American people,” Pelosi added.

The full details have yet to be released. But the elements of the proposal have come into sharper focus over the last 24 hours, with $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

Assessing the marathon deliberations over the bill in recent days, Pelosi said she’s “very pleased” that “congressional Democrats were able to turn upside down the bill that was presented at the beginning of the weekend.”

“It was a trickle-down, corporate bill. It is now a bubble-up, workers bill and we’re very proud of that. I hope that it would pass the Senate quickly so that we could predict what time we can get on with it tomorrow. But we stand ready because the urgency is very clear,” Pelosi said.

“The solutions are not everything we wanted, but many of the provisions we had in our House bill are in the Senate bill.”

The stimulus package — and specifically its $2 trillion price tag — underscore the scale of the virus’ impact across the country. The US has more than 65,000 cases of the virus and more than 900 people have died as of Wednesday night, according to CNN’s tally.

In response, states are ordering new shutdowns and restrictions every day and public health officials are encouraging the public to stay home and practice social distancing.

Still, Pelosi urged Americans to “be confident” and “believe in America” amid the outbreak.

“I wish that every person in America would subscribe to the fact that science is an answer to our prayers so that we can get through this in a very positive way.”

This story has been updated with additional information on Wednesday.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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