In a conversation with “Fox News Sunday,” Barrasso blamed Democrats for delaying the relief, while expressing confidence that Democrats and Republicans have finally managed to resolve their differences.
“This gets done today. No more delays. We’re not leaving until we have relief for the American people,” Barrasso said. “People are hurting, people need help, and there are two things we need to do to write this final chapter on coronavirus.”
Barrasso said that the first thing is to get people vaccinated, predicting that 20 million people will have received the vaccine before the end of 2020. The second thing, he said, was to make sure that people have economic relief.
“We need to provide help to the American public, people who’ve been struggling. Until we get enough people vaccinated that we can fully get the economy back on track.”
That help, Barrasso said, will include $600 checks to most Americans, covering adults and children, extended unemployment benefits, and additional paycheck protection loans for small businesses.
Barrasso blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for delaying the process for political purposes.
“We should have done this months ago had not Nancy Pelosi played politics through the fall because of the presidential election,” he said. “She’s admitted as much. We’ve had a bill pretty comparable to what we’re going to pass today and we’ve offered it by Republicans time and time again. The Democrats beat it down 40 different times. This has been wrong, the delay has been too long, we need to get it done now for Christmas.”
House Democrats passed their massive $3 trillion HEROES Act that Senate Republicans rejected in favor of a more targeted approach to helping American people and businesses.
Lawmakers worked deep into the night Saturday to reach a framework of a deal, but the language of the bill had not yet been finalized. Barrasso is confident that this will get done Sunday.
The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House will meet at noon Sunday and is expected to vote on government funding and coronavirus relief. The Senate is scheduled to convene at 1 p.m.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.