Maine's Two House Members Split On Pelosi Relief Bill

May 16, 2020

It is not often U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District differs with fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of the 2nd District, but while Pingree supported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $3 trillion pandemic relief bill, Golden did not.

Golden, pictured here in 2017, says the bill went beyond the "core" needs and had too many unneeded provisions.
Credit Maine Public File

Pingree says that while she believes the bill is needed, she is aware that Senate Republican leadership will likely not allow a vote on it.

“We felt like putting it on the table, showing where the need is makes it harder for them to dismiss this, that there is no problem,” Pingree says.

But Golden says the bill went beyond the “core” needs and had too many unneeded provisions. He criticized House leadership for bringing the measure to a vote.

“House leaders missed the opportunity to make bipartisan progress on these issues, “ he said in a statement. “Our communities desperately need relief, but this bill moves us no closer to delivering that relief.

The sweeping measure is 1800 pages long with hundreds of provisions: nearly $1 trillion for state, local and tribal governments, an extension of unemployment benefits, an increase in food stamp benefits and another round of direct payments to individuals. Pingree says that while she believes the bill is needed, she is aware that Senate Republican leadership will likely not allow a vote on it.

Some Republican senators are talking about delaying the next relief bill into June, and some are pushing for a measure that would help state and local governments. The GOP version will likely carry a considerably smaller price tag.

Ed note: post updated 10:15 a.m. May 16, 2020