U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM, said Monday Congress and the White House should continue to work toward coming up with another COVID-19 relief package.
“In the face of continued hardship and uncertainty, communities across New Mexico deserve action, not party politics,” Torres Small, who represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District said Wednesday in a statement.
The comment by Torres Small in an email to the Roswell Daily Record came a day after President Donald Trump in a series of tweets announced he was asking representatives negotiating on behalf of the White House with House Democrats on a COVID-19 relief package until after the election.
Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “asking for $2.4 trillion dollars to bail out poorly run, high crime Democratic states, money that is in no way related to COVID-19.
Torres Small though said waiting until after the election is not an option.
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“We need leaders from both parties back at the table to deliver the relief our country needs to keep businesses open and provide the support New Mexicans need to pay their bills. For too many families, small businesses and workers, no deal is not an option,” she said.
Torres Small who was among a few House Democrats to break with her party by voting against a larger relief bill in May, said there is a way forward for a bipartisan deal.
She referenced a $2 trillion proposed framework for a relief package put forth by the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers as an example.
Torres Small had come out in September in support of that framework for a comprehensive bill that will address both the public health needs and the economic fallout from the pandemic.
However, Yvette Herrell, the Republican hoping to unseat Torres Small in one of the country’s most competitive congressional races, put the blame for the stalemated COVID-19 relief talks on Democrats.
“Nancy Pelosi is fully responsible for the breakdown in negotiations. Her continued refusal to meaningfully compromise with Republicans left President Trump with no choice but to pursue targeted standalone solutions, which I support,” Herrell said.
Herrell did not go into details about the standalone solutions, though soon after Trump announced he was pulling out of talks on a package, he tweeted urging lawmakers to pass a bill authorizing another round of $1,200 direct payments to individual Americans.
To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or firstname.lastname@example.org.