Pelosi Tells House Members in Letter 'We Must Double Down on the Down-Payment' by Introducing CARES 2 Stimulus Plan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said CARES 2, an additional COVID-19 stimulus plan, must "go further" to help American families, small businesses, and health workers in a letter to members of the House.

Pelosi announced the formation of a bipartisan House select committee on the coronavirus crisis this week. In his coronavirus briefing on Thursday, President Donald Trump decried the panel, saying, "I want to remind everyone here in our nation's capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations."

But in the letter to House members on Saturday, Pelosi said it had been formed because Americans expect Congress to ensure the money from the $2 trillion stimulus package is "spent wisely and effectively."

Pelosi added that the acceleration of the pandemic means "we must double down on the down-payment we made in the CARES Act by passing a CARES 2 package."

Three stimulus packages have been approved to keep Americans afloat during the pandemic, the latest of which was the unprecedented $2.2 trillion package which included a plan to send $1,200 checks to most Americans as well as increase jobless benefits for millions left out of work. The package also offers loans and tax breaks to businesses and provided aid to state governments and hospitals.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is interviewed by CNN about the government response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 01 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Early in March, Trump signed an $8.3 billion coronavirus aid package into law which, according to CNBC, included more than $3 billion for vaccine research and $2.2 billion in prevention and preparedness efforts. Another plan was approved later in March to expand family and medical leave as well as guarantee paid sick leave for certain workers.

But Pelosi said a fourth stimulus plan is needed to send additional payments to families as well as provide "desperately needed resources" to those tackling the crisis on the frontlines, including personal protective equipment (PPE).

"CARES 2 must go further in assisting small businesses including farmers, extending and strengthening unemployment benefits and giving families additional direct payments," she said in the letter.

"We must also provide the desperately needed resources for our state and local governments, hospitals, community health centers, health systems and health workers, first responders and other providers on the frontlines of this crisis.Our communities cannot afford to wait, and we must move quickly."

She added, "The American people have hearts full of love for the health care workers, first responders and all others risking their lives to save lives, who desperately need Personal Protective Equipment to protect themselves and ventilators and drugs to heal."

Pelosi said she hoped the legislation could be crafted and brought to the floor later in April.

But Republicans on Capitol Hill are reluctant to pass another stimulus package so soon, saying they want to first ensure that thee money already allocated is properly distributed. "I don't think that's appropriate at this time," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said of the push for a fourth relief measure on Thursday.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.