Nancy Pelosi Still Hopeful McConnell, GOP 'See the Light' and Pass $2,000 Stimulus Checks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the public Wednesday to remain hopeful about $2,000 direct payments as Congress is running out of time to resolve the matter before the end of the year.

During her weekly press conference, Pelosi accused Senate Republicans of being "in denial" about the hardships Americans are facing after they blocked efforts to pass or hold a vote on legislation to send out $2,000 stimulus checks to qualifying individuals and households.

"I do hope that in the days ahead—we only have a few days left in this session—that they will see the light and understand the suffering that is going on in our country," Pelosi said.

"I've said before, it's amazing to see the patience some people have with other people's suffering," she added. "These Republicans in the Senate seem to have an endless tolerance for other people's sadness."

The legislative saga over stimulus checks began after President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment with the "ridiculously low" $600 direct payment included in the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress on December 21. He urged lawmakers to boost the check to $2,000—a move quickly celebrated by Democrats.

The House of Representatives attempted to pass $2,000 checks by unanimous consent on Christmas Eve but were blocked by Republican members. The chamber then held an official vote on the matter on Monday, passing the CASH Act with a 275–134 vote.

The legislation, which would boost the stimulus check to $2,000, hasn't gone any further in the Republican-controlled Senate. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for unanimous consent to boost the stimulus payment to $2,000 per qualifying American but McConnell objected. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also asked that the Senate hold a vote on the House legislation for direct payments after a unanimous consent agreement to override Trump's veto of a military budget bill, but McConnell again objected.

Later Tuesday, McConnell introduced his own surprise bill that offered the increased direct payments but also tacked on measures pertaining to social media companies and election fraud studies. Those two additional provisions, encouraged by Trump, have generally been opposed by Democrats.

When asked by a reporter Wednesday if she would commit to bringing the idea of $2,000 payments back if it dies in this Congress, Pelosi expressed optimism something could be worked out before the legislative session comes to a close.

"Well let's be hopeful that it can happen this week because the sooner it happens, the sooner the checks go out," she replied. "So we're not giving up on it. The President of the United States Donald Trump is advocating for it, the Congress in a bipartisan way in the House has voted for it, it would have bipartisan support in the Senate if Mitch McConnell would only allow it to come to the floor instead of being an obstruction to those checks going to the American people."

Newsweek reached out to McConnell's office for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Nancy Pelosi weekly press conference stimulus update
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pauses while speaking during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on December 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Pelosi said Wednesday Congress wasn't "giving up" on passing $2,000 stimulus checks before the end of the legislative session. Drew Angerer/Getty