President Donald Trump said this week that his administration would no longer pursue a deal with Democrats on a large, all-encompassing coronavirus relief package, opting instead to take a piecemeal approach that included stand-alone bills on issues like funding for struggling airlines and small businesses. But per usual, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is taking a hard line against Trump’s stance.
The House speaker went ballistic on Thursday when asked by reporters about a possible deal, saying that a stand-alone bill to bail out airlines is “not going to happen” unless it comes as part of a much broader package, according to the Washington Examiner.
Her remarks, likely not taken well by Americans who are still wondering whether they’ll get any more relief from the federal government with regard to COVID-19, seemed to undermine reports that came earlier Thursday suggesting that Pelosi and Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had reached a tentative agreement on a stand-alone bill to provide $25 billion in aid to the airline industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
“No stand-alone bill”
It was during her weekly presser on Thursday that Pelosi made clear she isn’t interested in parts and pieces of coronavirus relief.
“The comment I made to the administration last night was: We’re happy to review what that stand-alone bill would look like as part of a bigger bill — if there is a bigger bill,” she told reporters, according to The Hill. “But there is no stand-alone bill.”
Pelosi said she and Mnuchin had been “talking about a single bill, a stand-alone bill, and the particulars within a singular bill.”
“So the question is: If there were to be a standalone bill, what does that look like?” she added, as The Hill reported. “And the only point about negotiations is: Ain’t going to be no stand-alone bill unless there’s a bigger bill. And it could be part of that, or it could be in addition to it.”
Pelosi plays power games
The House speaker’s remarks come as just the latest installment in what has become months of stalled negotiations on COVID-19 relief. The coronavirus disease has infected more than 7.6 million Americans and killed at least 213,000 others, according to The New York Times, but it doesn’t appear those numbers are giving Pelosi any extra sense of urgency.
The speaker and her fellow Dems have continued to stump for a deal with a price tag well over $2 trillion, something Republicans are hesitant to agree to as the national debt continues to climb. Mnuchin and those in the GOP have come close with their latest offer of $1.7 trillion, but it’s still proven insufficient to Pelosi and company.
It’s a problem that President Trump doesn’t anticipate being rectified any time soon. Perhaps that’s why he’s said he’s done talking until after November’s election.
“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”
In the meantime, the president says Republicans in Congress should be focused on confirming his recent Supreme Court nominee to the high court. “THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” he wrote Tuesday.