Update from Washington:

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) and congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA02) both voted against COVID-19 relief legislation in the House of Representatives on Thursday night.

In a statement after the vote, Spanberger called for “compromise legislation that can pass U.S. Senate & be signed into law.” 17 Democrats in total and every single Republican voted against the $2.2 trillion relief package.

“In Central Virginia, our neighbors, businesses, friends, and families need immediate relief in response to the combined hardships caused by a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and wide-scale unemployment,” said Spanberger in a statement Thursday night. “Today’s package is another partisan exercise that will never become law — just as the Heroes Act never received a single vote in the Senate, let alone reached the President’s desk. Even as we cast this vote, negotiations are continuing on a separate package that could actually yield bipartisan agreement. My focus remains on working with Democrats and Republicans to get relief to my district immediately, and partisan gamesmanship will not do it. Just as I opposed the first Heroes Act, I will respectfully vote against this package.”

Luria also expressed her displeasure with the partisanship of the process but she also noted that the bill did not provide the relief that she believes people needed. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, and it is clear we need more relief for the American people. Unfortunately, the Heroes 2.0 bill would not deliver the targeted relief Americans need,” said Luria in a statement after the vote. “This issue is too important to approach in a partisan manner. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to find common ground and provide relief for the American people.”

In September, Spanberger and other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus — comprised of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans — unveiled the caucus’ bipartisan “March to Common Ground” framework. The caucus said that the goal of creating the framework is to help break the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package.

“In recent weeks, I’ve been involved in many conversations about a potential bipartisan path forward — and I’m encouraged that Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi continue to hold negotiations about a future relief package,” said Spanberger Thursday night. “The release of a bipartisan package framework earlier this month showed that there remains agreement between many Democrats and Republicans on the necessity of key programs like continued unemployment insurance, strengthened support for the Paycheck Protection Program, funding for states and localities, and another round of direct payments to individual Americans. I urge my colleagues in the House to prioritize these programs, not political talking points. The American people are exhausted by empty promises and government dysfunction, and I will keep fighting to do my job and deliver real relief to the people of Central Virginia.”

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By vascope