Pelosi Slams Trump Over Stimulus Talks Withdrawal, Standalone $1,200 Check Push
In the aftermath of President Trump’s sudden swerves on stimulus—he called for several new bills, including one to send out more stimulus checks, just hours after declaring that aid negotiations were over until after the election—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the Trump administration for walking away from the table while the economy is in crisis and the coronavirus is not under control.
“If you cared about America’s children, you would know you cannot go down this path,” Pelosi said in an appearance on ABC’s The View Wednesday morning.
In a Wednesday morning interview on FOX & Friends, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that while the White House is still “willing to be engaged” on piecemeal measures for more federal coronavirus aid—including on airlines, small business relief, and another round of stimulus checks—he doesn’t believe a comprehensive bill is possible.
Meadows also blamed Pelosi for the failure in negotiations so far, suggesting that she has “failed to budge.”
Pelosi maintained that her caucus has repeatedly compromised on their offer: “We came down a trillion dollars [from the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act in May], and then we came down $200 billion more,” she said Wednesday.
A spokesman for Pelosi said that the Speaker and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had spoken on Wednesday morning to discuss a standalone aid bill for the airline industry.
Though generally opposed to narrow coronavirus relief bills, Pelosi last week said she would support a standalone airline bill that could forestall airline layoffs—when Democrats brought that bill up for a vote in the House, however, Republicans blocked it.
“All he has ever wanted in the negotiation is to send out a check with his name printed on it,” Pelosi said Wednesday of Trump’s sudden push for a standalone stimulus check bill, “forget about the virus, forget about our children and their need to go to school safely.”
On Tuesday afternoon, President Trump abruptly put a halt to ongoing negotiations between Pelosi (representing Democrats) and the White House, tweeting that he had instructed his representatives (including Mnuchin) to stop work on an aid bill and to instead focus on confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. According to the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had struggled to unite his party behind a single GOP aid proposal, advised Trump that any deal that Mnuchin and Pelosi might make would not have enough GOP support to make it through the Senate. Just hours after announcing the end of negotiations, and amid swift backlash to the decision, Trump called on lawmakers to approve another $25 billion in aid for the airline industry. Shortly after that, he said he was willing to “immediately” sign a standalone bill to send out another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. Democrats aren’t likely to take that approach, however—they’ve been adamant that the next bill also include more federal unemployment benefits and more aid to state and local government, as well as various other supports for struggling families.
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