As millions of Americans feel the crunch of an expired additional unemployment benefit, Congress faces an increased demand from the public to reach a compromise on the next coronavirus relief bill.
Judging from the public travel plans of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, she does not seem to consider it a pressing priority, as The Washington Times reports.
“They are the hoax”
The Times reported Thursday that Pelosi is leaving D.C. and is not expected to return to Capitol Hill until after next week.
Meanwhile, she continues to place the blame on Republican lawmakers for the legislative impasse while criticizing President Donald Trump for taking executive action in the absence of a congressional deal.
GOP legislators have reportedly agreed to $1 trillion in spending, while the Democratic proposal carries a price tag of more than three times that much.
In Pelosi’s opinion, Republicans “have ignored the science” throughout the ongoing public health crisis.
“They called it a hoax,” she claimed, according to the Times. “They are the hoax.”
“Absurd for Congress to be going on a break”
Despite her cries wolf, the House speaker’s decision to leave the nation’s capital amid the pandemic without an agreement on public aid is putting Pelosi on the defensive when it comes to the federal coronavirus response. At least one fellow California Democrat in the House is taking the speaker to task for her behavior.
U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna characterized the idea of taking a break at this point in the crisis as “absurd” during a recent Facebook town hall event, according to Fox News.
“I think Congress should be in session,” he said, according to Fox News. “I think it’s absurd for Congress to be going on a break during a pandemic and a national crisis.”
Trump, who gave Congress a deadline of Aug. 7 to reach a deal, announced a series of executive orders on Saturday that would address issues including unemployment, evictions, student loans, and payroll taxes.
Pelosi and other Democrats have made it clear that they do not support the president’s actions. Given the speaker’s apparent decision to take a break amid stalled negotiations, however, she might be losing any credibility she ever had on the issue.