U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a coward this week for her decision to postpone the chamber’s return to Capitol Hill.
“Cowardice — cowardice is the only way to describe that,” Crenshaw said in a recent interview with Fox News, according to Breitbart. “This is more than just about accountability. And let me remind everybody, if we got paid hourly in Congress, you bet Nancy Pelosi would be there.”
Though Pelosi has faced accusations that she has played partisan games throughout the coronavirus crisis, she and other Democrats have maintained that their efforts are in the interest of rescuing American workers.
“We had no choice”
Pelosi has clashed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over the contents of the next relief bill, The Washington Post notes, but she is apparently in no hurry to make her plan a reality. The House announced on Tuesday that its members would not return to D.C. next week — a change from initial plans — on the advice of medical professionals.
“We had no choice,” Pelosi said during a conference call, according to ABC News. “The Capitol physician recommends that we not come back and we have to take that guidance in consideration for the safety of those who have to be here: press, staff, members of Congress, members’ staff in addition to our own staff.”
Amid reports that 30 million workers have now lost their jobs in a matter of weeks, however, Crenshaw and others see Pelosi’s move as an abdication of her responsibilities.
“This is about leadership,” he told Fox, according to Breitbart. “This is about leading on the front lines along with the American people who are also on the front lines — nurses, doctors, people still working grocery stores, still working our supply chains, people trying to grow food and raise cattle and watching their food production plummet.”
“Doesn’t take any courage”
Pelosi has heretofore shown little support for efforts to reopen the economy, insisting that it is not yet safe to end lockdowns. Crenshaw criticized this position, too, by pointing out the geographic differences in how the virus has impacted America.
“Not the entire country is like New York City,” he said in reference to the nation’s coronavirus epicenter. “It doesn’t take any courage whatsoever to tell people to stay home or sic the police on them if they disobey.”
President Donald Trump, for his part, has publicly praised Crenshaw, a frequent vocal supporter of the administration’s coronavirus response plan.
Though the House speaker has opted to keep her chamber closed, McConnell signaled the Senate will reconvene on Monday and expressed hope that a future bill would include liability protections for employers, according to The Hill.
Pelosi might talk a big game about championing working people. Whether by holding up legislation in pursuit of a progressive wishlist or keeping the House of Representatives closed, however, she is not doing a great job of showing it.