On Wednesday, Secretary Mnuchin spoke to Speaker Pelosi and the Speaker reiterated that she is unwilling to continue negotiations unless her partisan wishlist was included in the final legislation. Following the conversation, Secretary Mnuchin released the following statement:
“Earlier today, Speaker Pelosi and I spoke by phone. Her statement is not an accurate reflection of our conversation. She made clear that she was unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion.
“The Administration is willing to move forward with legislation that allows for substantial funds for schools, child care, food, vaccines, hospitals, PPP for small businesses, rental assistance, broadband, airports, state and local government assistance, and liability protection for universities, schools, and businesses.
“The Democrats have no interest in negotiating.”
On the Senate floor yesterday, Leader McConnell explained how Democrats’ partisan games are prolonging the nation’s pain:
LEADER MCCONNELL: “The Secretary of the Treasury and the White House Chief of Staff have given ground. They’ve put new issues on the table that Democrats wanted. They’ve worked to find commonality. But the Democrats are barely even pretending to negotiate. Barely even pretending. The Speaker’s latest spin is that it is some heroic sacrifice to lower her demand from a made-up three-and-a-half-trillion-dollar marker that was never going to become law… to an equally made-up two-and-a-half trillion-dollar marker.
“She calls this meeting in the middle. That’s not negotiating. That’s throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. People who have serious policy proposals that are fitted to actual needs cannot breezily knock off a trillion here, and add a trillion there. Heck — by the Speaker’s logic, they should have just opened with their entire 93-trillion-dollar Green New Deal! Then they could have blamed the President for not meeting them halfway at the cut-rate bargain sum of 45 trillion dollars!
“Come on. Come on. In point of fact, the Speaker and the Leader have not conceded anything. They haven’t budged on their absurd demands. They just moved up the expiration date a few weeks on the exact same crazy wish-list, so the price tag comes down without moving an inch on the merits. And they’ve refused Republicans’ offers to pass everything that we can agree to, right now. Republicans don’t think the disputed issues should hold up the most urgent aid for working families.
“But Democrats say no. Their partisan games continue. And so the nation’s pain continues, too. Laid-off workers, and kids, and parents, and doctors and nurses are waiting for help. Our people are waiting for help. Republicans have been at the table for weeks. We just need seriousness on the other side. American families’ livelihoods are at stake. American lives are at stake. Democrats must re-run their political calculations and finally let Congress act.”
Even House Democrats are frustrated that Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer are holding coronavirus relief legislation hostage in an attempt to pass items on their partisan wishlist:
- SRCC: “House Dem: Schumer And Pelosi Give ‘A Middle Finger To The American People’”