Following the passing of a COVID-19 relief bill in March, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has refused to compromise with Republicans to pass another coronavirus relief package. Pelosi’s position hasn’t softened, with the leading Democrat still demanding a $2.2 trillion package.
But according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Pelosi’s unwillingness to negotiate only contributed to her party’s losses in November’s election.
“The speaker of the House spent the entire summer and the entire autumn literally gambling with the health and welfare of the American people,” McConnell said on Senate floor Monday, the Washington Examiner reported.
Pelosi’s tactic “backfired”
The Kentucky Republican said that Pelosi’s “all-or-nothing strategy backfired,” referring to the fact that House Democrats will return in January with a significantly reduced majority.
“She gambled that if American families didn’t get any more relief before the election, her party would expand its majority in the House and Democrats could continue demanding the right to remake all of society along far-Left lines, in exchange for not passing any more COVID relief whatsoever,” McConnell said.
Still, Pelosi appears to be unmoved by such claims. Her Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill flipped the script on McConnell’s statement, alleging it’s the GOP that has attacked those in need.
“For six months, Democrats have been pressing Republicans to agree to the next round of coronavirus relief, and for six months, Leader McConnell has insisted on a ‘pause,’ while the White House’s negotiators accused vulnerable families of lying about not being able to pay the bills,” Hammill told the Examiner.
Hammill blames GOP
Hammill touted his boss’s willingness to negotiate, as she had agreed to accept legislation worth $2.2 trillion following negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin rather than the $3.7 trillion price tag that she originally sought.
“House Democrats sent the GOP Senate the Heroes Act back in May and compromised by $1.2 trillion to send an updated Heroes Act to the Senate in October,” he argued.
Hammill continued, “But as millions of families fall deeper into despair, McConnell’s emaciated proposal gives no stimulus checks, no rental assistance, no nutrition assistance, but does give liability immunity to employers who get their workers sick.”
Just prior to the election, McConnell favored a $500 billion dollar stimulus package, more modest than even the 1.8 trillion deal proposed by the White House, NBC News reported.
“If a deal is announced, then it would have to be written, and people will have a chance to take a look at it,” he said on Oct. 20. “Then it will have to clear the House, and if all of that occurs, then, of course, we would consider it in the Senate.”