Take your camera to Reagan National on Thursday and you may be able to snap a few photos of lawmakers boarding flights home. Lawmakers who pledged to work on a new coronavirus relief bill.
Democrats voted down the latest GOP-led effort by a vote of 52-47, arguing it was an "emaciated" offer. The measure would have provided $105 billion for schools and a two-year tax credit for school choice, $29 billion for vaccines and $16 billion for testing.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Fox News on Thursday that they've had "positive movement in the right direction" on a new measure, having had productive phone calls with both Republicans and Democrats. But that progress may be stymied by some lawmakers' travel plans.
"Take your cameras to DCA today because you're going to see members of Congress leaving Washington to go home and pretend like they are working hard on this particular deal, when in fact the checks are not going out to the American people and unemployment benefits will start to cease," Meadows said.
Mark Meadows on pressuring lawmakers to keep at coronavirus relief package negotiations:— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) September 17, 2020
"Take your cameras to DCA today because you're gonna see members of Congress leaving Washington to go home and pretend like they are working hard on this particular deal." pic.twitter.com/JzhbihdLFD
"Here's what we need to do," Meadows instructed. "Everyone needs to call on their House member to make sure that they stay here, that we negotiate, at least let's use this $1.5 trillion new recommendation as a foundation for new negotiations."
Meadows said the president is willing to embrace the $1.5 trillion deal that has been suggested, especially as thousands of airline workers are at risk of being laid off.
"If nothing more," he urged. "Let's go ahead and put that package on the floor."