Fox News reported Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had placed the blame squarely at the feet of Republicans after negotiations over the latest coronavirus relief package hit a brick wall.
“We have been mightily trying to find common ground with our colleagues,” Pelosi alleged in a statement Friday, noting that “it’s hard when your values are so different in terms of bubble-up from the working-class families instead of trickle-down from above.”
Pelosi said Republicans failed to take her last offer. “I offered to them, we’ll take down $1 trillion if you add $1 trillion in. They said absolutely not.”
What’s another trillion or two?
Speaking Friday, Pelosi also lambasted Republicans for being “in a different place” on COVID-19 relief legislation. “Again, we believe in science and governance in terms of addressing the virus that we need to do and that’s how we’re going to open our economy,” Pelosi said of Democrats. “It doesn’t do anything for our economy to add more people on unemployment, especially when they are our heroes.”
The House speaker also gave Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a chance to bash the GOP.
“You should have seen their faces,” he said Friday, according to Fox. “They’re the ones stuck.”
The White House takes action
But if Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi were hoping to reap the political benefits of a relief deal, they’re likely in panic mode right now. In an indication that Democrats missed their chance to score political points, President Donald Trump on Saturday issued a series of executive orders aimed at providing the relief that Americans need, USA Today reported.
“Because many of the relief programs created by the Congress have expired or will shortly expire, my Administration and the Republican leadership in the United States Senate have proposed multiple options to continue to provide needed relief to Americans,” the president said in a memo on the orders published by the White House on Saturday.
“Democratic Members of Congress have twice blocked temporary extensions of supplemental unemployment benefits,” Trump continued. “Political games that harm American lives are unacceptable, especially during a global pandemic, and therefore I am taking action to provide financial security to Americans.”
According to USA Today, the executive orders cover issues like continued relief for student loan payments, assistance for renters and homeowners, and a payroll tax holiday meant to spur hiring and spending. And if Democrats want to continue their fight against that — well, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says they’ll “have a lot of explaining to do.”
“If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do,” Mnuchin said Sunday, according to a separate report from Fox News.
As usual, Trump and Republicans are taking action while Democrats sit back and whine about not getting what they want. At least someone in Washington is putting Americans first.