Congress is set to resume shortly, and, with it, negotiations on the next coronavirus package. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just put an end to any hopes for a speedy agreement.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made it clear that in the upcoming negotiations the Democrats will not budge from their $2 trillion package, The Hill reports.
“We’re not budging. They have to move. They have to move,” Pelosi said, speaking of the Republican-led Senate, which is pushing for a less costly package.
What else would you expect?
Pelosi went on to explain her position.
“Why should there be a bill that has far less [of] what the public needs?” she said. “We have that responsibility, and they’re just going to have to come up with more money.”
Of course, it is this sort of attitude that ended the first round of negotiations on August 7th, just before Congress went on a recess. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) offered to reduce their original $3.4 trillion package by $1 trillion, but only if the Republicans were willing to increase their original package of $1.1 trillion by a trillion.
The Republicans rejected this proposal, and this is where things were left in early August. The additional $600 in federal unemployment benefits for Americans who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus shutdowns expired weeks ago, leading President Donald Trump to take executive action to try to fill in the gap left by Congress’ failure to reach an agreement.
“A very short conversation”
Pelosi, on Thursday, was scheduled to speak to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after the press conference.
“That could be a very short conversation if they’re not ready to meet in the middle,” Pelosi said. She continued:
This is a conversation only to respect the fact that [he is] the president’s representative — not even the lead negotiator, that would be Mnuchin. We consider whatever his name is — what’s his name? — Meadows there staffing Mr. Mnuchin. And if they are willing to meet us in the middle then we can sit down and talk. So this is: you called me, I’m returning your call. Are you ready to bring much more money to the table?
That about sums up Pelosi and the Democrats’ view of Meadows as well as their approach to further coronavirus relief.
It’s a bit unreasonable, no?
According to CBS News, Pelosi and Meadows spoke for less than half of an hour, and, in Pelosi’s view, the two sides are still far away from a deal.
Pelosi and the Democrats, apparently, believe that this hard-nose approach is the correct one to take, one that will be popular with their constituents. One wonders, however, whether her constituents would prefer the reasonable help offered by Republicans or nothing. Thus, far, Pelosi and the Democrats have chosen the latter.