House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has refused to compromise with President Donald Trump and House Republicans on coronavirus relief legislation in negotiations, and has for months insisted that the bill include spending for Democrat initiatives or it won’t be passed at all.
Now, she’s trying a new tactic. The Democratic congresswoman has issued the White House a 48-hour deadline for coming to an agreement on a new stimulus bill, The Hill reported Sunday.
The speaker appears to have been holding coronavirus relief hostage in an apparent attempt to damage President Donald Trump going into the election. Her new ultimatum comes only a couple of weeks before Election Day.
“Array of additional differences”
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, explained the details via Twitter.
“The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 7:40 p.m. by phone tonight for just over an hour,” Hammill said in tweet Saturday evening, according to The Hill.
Hammill continued: “There remains an array of additional differences as we go provision by provision that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours.”
In a final tweet on the matter, Hammill said the Trump administration must act to demonstrate it is “serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides Americans with the greatest needs during the pandemic.”
Pelosi claims to be optimistic
The speaker, meanwhile, addressed her ultimatum during an appearance on The Week with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
“The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,” Pelosi said, as The Hill reported. “I’m optimistic because, again, we’ve been back and forth on all of this.”
The San Francisco congresswoman told Stephanopoulos that whether relief will come before or after the election “depends on the administration.”
Pelosi’s new tactic on the COVID relief deal comes after several Democrats called on the speaker to move forward with the Trump administration’s compromise, Fox Business noted.
Even Rep. Ro Khanna (D- CA) has urged Pelosi to accept a deal, tweeting: “People in need can’t wait until February. $1.8 trillion is significant [and more than twice the Obama stimulus… Make a deal [and] put the ball in [Mitch] McConnell[‘s] court.”