Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has reached out to 23 Democrats, encouraging them to keep true to a promise in September to go over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s head to force a vote on Covid-19 relief.

House Minority Leader McCarthy sent a letter directly to the Democrats, blasting Pelosi’s leadership and failure to come to an agreement on an economic relief package with the White House. 

The letter followed Democrats on Thursday yet again blocking a Republican move to consider a coronavirus relief package, something they have tried numerous times over the last few months.

In his letter, McCarthy pointed to a September statement from the selected Democrats threatening Pelosi with a “discharge position” if she could not “deliver meaningful relief to the American people.” A discharge position would force a House floor on a bill if it gets a majority of signatures, circumventing House leadership’s control.

“On September 27, nearly two months ago, you signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating: ‘It is our request that you continue to negotiate towards a bipartisan deal. Otherwise, a discharge petition is the only potential option for COVID-19 related action on the House Floor…’ As we know, no bipartisan deal has yet been reached,” McCarthy wrote in his letter, which was hand delivered to the lawmakers on Friday afternoon.

The Republican congressman warned that new economic lockdowns in various states are creating a “fatal” economic situation for small businesses. 

Before his letter, McCarthy blasted Pelosi in a Thursday press conference as the “one roadblock” in the House preventing a relief package from being passed. 

The White House put forward a relief package amounting to $1.8 trillion, but Pelosi’s proposals have exceeded $2 trillion. She has also blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) for putting forth plans that provide “liability immunity to employers who get their workers sick.”

Congress will soon head into a week-long recess for the Thanksgiving holiday, pushing the potential for a relief bill further down the road. The US hit a milestone this week crossing 250,000 deaths from Covid-19 as numerous states have renewed lockdown orders and put forth business curfews in light of spikes in cases. 

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