- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got into a heated argument with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday as the host grilled her on the ongoing negotiations on a second COVID-19 relief package.
- A second coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.
- “Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate.
- “What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday over continued delays in approving another coronavirus stimulus package.
Pelosi appeared on CNN Tuesday, where Blitzer grilled the House Speaker on why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer.
A coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.
—The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) October 13, 2020
Pelosi has been in talks with the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate a middle ground between House Democrats and the administration, but the conversations over several weeks have so far not produced a bipartisan package.
Blitzer cited criticism from Rep. Ro Khanna and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, with whom the CNN host spoke to on Monday regarding the bill.
“The only thing that’s keeping us from passing it is politics,” Yang said in response to the relief bill delays, encouraging Pelosi to say “yes” to the negotiations.
“Honest to God, I can’t get over it, because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely; Ro Khanna, he’s lovely,” Pelosi replied. “But they have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here.”
“Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and then asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate and provide relief from the fallout of the pandemic sooner.
“What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded to the question.
“It is unfortunate that we don’t have shared values with this White House and … that we have to fight with them to address the coronavirus crisis … and that’s why we find ourselves in this situation,” she continued.
While closing the interview, Blitzer said during the interview that he has respect for Pelosi, as well as her critics Yang and Khanna.
“These are incredibly difficult times right now, and we’ll leave it on that note,” he said.
Pelosi fired back, saying, “No, we’ll leave it on the note that you are not right on this Wolf, and I hate to say that to you.”
Blitzer replied: “It’s not about me. It’s about the millions of Americans who can’t put food on the table, who can’t pay rent, who are having trouble getting by,” before being interrupted by Pelosi saying, “And we represent them.”
Odds of an aid bill appear very slim before the election
The CNN interview comes as negotiations on another economic aid package appear deadlocked with the prospects of a bill passing before the election appearing very slim.
Democrats rebuffed the administration’s offer over the weekend, along with Senate Republicans who fiercely criticized its large spending levels and other tax-related measures.
In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi wrote on Tuesday: “Tragically, the Trump proposal falls significantly short of what this pandemic and deep recession demand.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Tuesday that Senate Republicans are preparing to vote on a $500 billion slimmed-down coronavirus relief package shortly after reconvening on October 19. But the move puts GOP senators at odds with Trump, who is stepping up his calls for a broad aid bill.
“STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!” the president wrote on Twitter.