Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360,” Pelosi stated that the GOP holds “a disdain, or sort of a condescension, toward working people, it seems, because they don’t trust how they might use the $600 — that kind of thing. ‘Oh, they have money to pay the rent, they’re just not paying the rent.’ Well, we cannot operate if we’re not even stipulating to a basic set of facts.”
“The people are hurting,” she continued. “The unemployment (rate) is high, and that we have a way to address this in terms of honoring our heroes, testing, tracing, treatment, as well as money in the pockets of the American people — being respectful of them, and understanding their needs.”
Her comments appear as congressional negotiators responsible for arranging a new recovery package to keep tens of millions of people from losing federal unemployment benefits are currently at the “airing our differences” phase of talks. Senate Republicans formally revealed a roughly $1 trillion stimulus proposal this week while Democrats are pushing a far bigger and different proposal. They passed their own $3 trillion stimulus bill in May.
Republicans will require support from Democrats to get a bill on the President’s desk and the two sides are starting far apart.
Appearing from a more than hour-long meeting with the top White House negotiators Tuesday, house speaker Pelosi said the message Democrats have received is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “really doesn’t want to get an agreement made.”
And Nancy Pelosi described a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows Tuesday as an effort at “airing our differences. There’s discovery and understanding on where there might be opportunity or not.”
She built on that assessment Wednesday evening, offering that negotiations “still have a long way to go, but we are determined that we will try to find common ground.”
“And we need the public to weigh in about the need to support state and local government and all the people who serve the community. You can’t open schools. State and local governments supply over 90% of the funding for schools. So this is all connected,” she said, plugging Democrats’ proposal.
“It’s all addressed in the HEROES act, and I hope that they would come closer to our thinking on it.”