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Democrats say impeachment trial won’t impede Covid relief work

Democrats say impeachment trial won’t impede Covid relief work

WASHINGTON — Top Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they’re not going to let the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump impede their legis

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WASHINGTON — Top Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they’re not going to let the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump impede their legislative work and that they can tackle their agenda simultaneously.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a press conference, flanked by Democratic committee chairs, that they had a message for those who say “that the impeachment trial would throw a wrench into President Biden’s early agenda.”

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“We are here today to say we are not letting that happen. We can do both at once,” Schumer said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, conveyed the same message Tuesday in a letter to House Democrats, saying that the caucus can continue its work on Covid-19 assistance as the Senate conducts the trial.

“Under the leadership of our Chairs, we are demonstrating that we can do our work without abandoning our principles and our responsibility to honor our oath of office and in holding the House to a high standard of integrity,” said Pelosi, who noted that nine Democratic members will be prosecuting the case against Trump in the Senate as managers.

Speaking just a few hours before the trial was set to begin, Schumer said that the Senate is “moving full steam ahead on a bold plan” to rescue the country from the coronavirus pandemic that he said would speed vaccination distribution, help schools reopen and save people’s jobs.

“We have to do everything we can to end this crisis, and even though the impeachment trial is an important and august responsibility, we are doing both,” he said.

Schumer said that Democrats “will not dither, dilute or delay” by waiting around for Republicans to negotiate a final package.

Asked about the possibility that the trial includes witness testimony, which would extend the proceedings, Schumer said that lawmakers would still “continue to get our work done.”

He also touted the Senate’s work in quickly confirming Biden’s Cabinet nominees such as Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and a deputy defense secretary Monday night. It’s unclear whether the Senate will hold floor votes on other nominees during the trial period.

House and Senate Democrats have moved at lightning speed over the last week to start the process to craft and finalize the aid package.

Senate Financial Services Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., reiterated that they are aiming to pass a relief measure by March 14 when unemployment benefits are set to expire.

“This is a supremely important moment for our economy, and for millions of vulnerable families,” Wyden said. “Without our economic package, it would be five years before unemployment is back in the ballpark of where it was a year ago. That’s five more years of unnecessary financial pain for millions of Americans.”

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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