Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference on Friday that she would like to attach new coronavirus relief legislation to a government funding omnibus, which must pass within the next week. Pelosi said she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on Thursday about attaching a coronavirus relief bill to the omnibus, although the omnibus must still be written first.
Pelosi's press conference came after a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced aearlier this week. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have said they believe the proposal should form the basis for any further negotiations, and the plan has received support from several Republican senators.
On Friday, Pelosi said that she believed the plan - once written - "could be a basis for real bicameral negotiation."
"There is momentum," Pelosi said about the negotiations. She added that "we have the time" to create an omnibus and a coronavirus relief plan, even though the deadline to extend government funding is only one week away. She said the House would not leave until a deal is reached.
Although Democrats previously expressed opposition to accepting any relief bill below $2 trillion, Pelosi said she is now willing to consider the $908 billion proposal because President-elect Joe Biden has a plan to address the virus.
"Joe Biden committed to ending and crushing the virus," Pelosi said, adding that a vaccine was an "answer to our prayers." "That is a total game changer. A new president, and a vaccine."
Coronavirus legislation is sorely needed, as several relief programs and policies expire at the end of the year. Greater assistance is also needed for unemployed Americans, particularly since the U.S., fewer than expected.
Meanwhile, Congress must also pass the National Defense Authorization Act, although President Trump has threatened to veto the current proposal due to a provision that would create a commission to study renaming bases honoring Confederate officials. He also believes the NDAArepealing a protection for social media companies.