For over a month, Americans have been waiting for Congress to pass legislation to provide additional coronavirus relief. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that she won’t be accepting what Republicans have counter-offered.
The White House, however, is also standing firm. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows made a point of calling out the California Democrat’s intransigence on Sunday.
Pelosi: “Don’t do anything at all”
“Listen, we’re not going to negotiate here because the speaker’s been very clear,” Politico quoted Meadows as telling NBC personality Chuck Todd during Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press.” He added, “‘When she said $2.2 trillion, she said, ‘Don’t do anything at all.’”
“As you know, anything in the Senate requires both Democrats and Republicans,” Meadows continued. “But Speaker Pelosi, if she worked with Chuck Schumer, I can tell you all of those things that I just mentioned are available for the American people.”
On Friday, Pelosi and Meadows spoke via telephone about the Republicans’ proposal to spend $1.3 trillion rather than the $2.2 trillion that Democrats are demanding.
The conversation proved fruitless, and Pelosi later released a vitriolic statement in which she accused her opponents of being not caring about children in need.
“This is a debate about values and common sense, not dollars and cents,” the 80-year-old San Francisco congresswoman complained. “We hope Republicans will come to the table and accept our lower offer to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people.”
According to her, GOP members are “rejecting the funding needed for 14 million hungry children in America and rejecting funding for children’s families for rental assistance when millions are at risk of eviction and homelessness.”
She also professed to “have great concern over the Republicans’ refusal to acknowledge the funding levels that experts and scientists tell us are needed for safe school reopening.”
Meadows: Pelosi “can’t tell the American people, nor me” what’s in the bill
Yet in his interview with Todd, Meadows insisted that the price tag for the Democrats’ proposal was widely inflated with needless spending. “I had a conversation with Speaker Pelosi,” Meadows said, according to The Hill. “And even on her $2.2 trillion counter offer, she can’t tell the American people, nor me, what is in that.”
“She puts forth a number, suggests that she came down, and yet she’s willing to turn down $1.3 trillion of help that goes to the American people because she would rather them have nothing than to give way on what … her fantasy objection might be.”
Expect more tomorrow?
Perhaps we will see more progress on Wednesday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he will reach out the speaker on Wednesday after being asked to do so by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Tuesday, according to Reuters.