Pelosi Admits She’s Not Close to Agreement with White House on New Stimulus
Oct. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged this morning, in reluctant monosyllables under questioning by “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, that an agreement between her House leadership and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a fifth pandemic relief or “economic stimulus” bill is not close. Pelosi had sought in interviews Oct. 2 and 3 to give the impression it was, even “ordering” the major airlines not to carry out layoffs because they would have more government aid shortly.
Rather, Pelosi made clearer on Sunday what had been implied in her earlier interviews since President Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis became known and he was hospitalized. In addition to praying, of course, for the President’s recovery, she said “I’m watching what impact it will have on their coming to the table with us.... I hope it will have an effect on the President’s heart.” And finally, “No, we’re not close to a stimulus deal. They need to realize what the American people need, to crush the virus.” In other words, she is anticipating the President’s hospitalization giving her Treasury and Senate approval of her $2.2 trillion House-passed bill in toto, at some point.
Meanwhile, unemployed Americans, closed businesses, and broke municipalities wait, without Federal Reserve or bank credit, and without Congressional spending. It is in fact Pelosi who has not had the “heart” to move to the $1.5-1.6 trillion relief bill offered by the Problem Solvers Caucus, explicitly backed by Trump and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows two and one-half weeks ago, and which could have been agreed upon with Mnuchin at any point since then. That bill would have authorized $500 billion in aid to states and cities—the most important demand of the House Democrats—and a sliding scale of Federal unemployment benefits at $400-600/week. And it provided for the potential expansion of relief spending up to $2 trillion depending on the course and impacts of the pandemic in future months. Rather than accept it Pelosi’s House and Chuck Schumer’s Senate minority leadership, fighting the clear impatience of many caucus Democrats to pass legislation, have continued to demand expansion of Obamacare and other more-than-difficult conditions.