As pressure mounts to pass another coronavirus aid package, President Donald Trump is blaming the holdup on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying she “doesn’t want to give the money.” For her part, Pelosi just admitted that she hasn’t spoken with the president in over a year.
Pelosi defended her actions Friday, saying that it wasn’t necessary for her and Trump to speak directly or face-to-face because she was making progress working with intermediaries like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
The House Speaker confirmed to MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace that she has not spoken with the president directly in over a year. When asked if she would ever re-open that channel, Pelosi said, “It would depend on what the purpose is.”
“Let me say, without the two of us speaking person-to-person, but, either through the airwaves or through the President’s intermediaries, we were able, in that period of time, to pass a huge omnibus bill to keep government open, working with Secretary Mnuchin then,” she said.
Pelosi walked out of a White House meeting last October in which Trump called her a “third-rate politician” and she hasn’t spoken to him since. She has spoken to his intermediaries like Mnuchin, however.
Pelosi drags her feet on coronavirus relief
Unfortunately, the negotiations on the coronavirus relief bill have not gone as well, but that could be because Pelosi thinks that not passing a bill will keep the economy more depressed and be more harmful to Trump’s re-election chances.
Pelosi did get the USMCA trade deal and four other coronavirus relief bills passed without talking to Trump directly, so it doesn’t make sense that they couldn’t get a deal on coronavirus relief hashed out. They’ve had more than four months to get it done.
Polls have confirmed that voters think Pelosi is more responsible for the failure to pass more coronavirus relief than Trump.
Trump has increased the size of his proposed stimulus package from $1 trillion to $1.8 trillion. He said during an NBC town hall last week that he would raise it even higher to get an agreement. “You know who I am negotiating against? Nancy Pelosi. She doesn’t want to give the money,” he said. “This is not our people’s fault. This is China’s fault.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi is holding out for the bloated $3.2 trillion bill passed by House Democrats in May, which is full of pork for her friends and bails out poorly run Democrat states.
Gridlock not always a bad thing
Let’s not forget that gridlock was part of the reason why the government is set up the way it is, with co-equal branches that provide checks and balances for the system. Most of the not-so-great things that have been done by the U.S. government happened because of overreach or too much power held by one party (Obamacare, previous amnesty, tax increases, etc.).
If the worst thing that happens is the government doesn’t spend another $2 trillion while the economy springs back all the same, I am okay with that.