President Donald Trump took executive action last week to offer some limited federal relief amid a continued stalemate in Congress regarding the details of the next coronavirus aid bill.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did not approve of the president’s move and was apparently further displeased by the line of questioning during a recent Fox News Channel interview in which Chris Wallace pressed her on her role in stalled legislative negotiations, as reported by The Federalist.
Trump gave lawmakers a Friday deadline before announcing the scope of his executive action on Saturday.
Among his orders were a suspension of the federal payroll tax until the end of the year, an extension of additional unemployment benefits at a reduced rate, the deferral of student loan payments and interest, and a continued federal moratorium on evictions.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Pelosi referred to Trump’s actions as “unconstitutional slop,” echoing the sentiments of U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).
She went on to describe the executive orders as mere “illusions” of aid for the American people suffering from the impact of the continued public health crisis while sharply criticizing Republican lawmakers and the White House for refusing to meet her party’s spending goals.
Wallace responded, however, that Trump’s orders did not achieve the Democratic Party’s goals and suggested that she should have made more of an effort to reach across the aisle for the sake of compromise.
“A master negotiator”
“You’re known as a master negotiator, but didn’t you mess this one up?” Wallace asked.
Pelosi bristled at the question and asserted that the host lacked “an understanding of what is happening here both in the weakness of the president’s executive order, which doesn’t give the money, enhanced benefit, but with the complicated formula there will take a while if at all to accomplish, to put money in the pockets of the American people.”
Wallace later asked whether Democrats would take legal action to block Trump’s orders, though the speaker attempted to dodge any specifics.
“So the president’s meager, weak, and unconstitutional actions further demand that we have an agreement,” she said. “And any constitutional question is a separate issue.”
While Democrats in Congress apparently think it is a winning issue to downplay Trump’s actions as “meager,” it might just remind voters that they failed to do anything at all.