Nancy Pelosi has no intention of letting this crisis go to waste and she insists on adding oftentimes unrelated issues to her bills.
So as they negotiate their positions, Pelosi went to the media to attack Mitch McConnell for doing what she is doing.
She said that Mitch McConnell pulled a political “stunt” by trying to get more relief to the American small business community quickly.
The Washington Times reported that Pelosi said there needed to be a conversation as Secretary Steven T. Munchin requested “a quarter of a trillion dollars in 48 hours. There’s no data.”
“What the secretary requested, and what the bills that the Senate majority leader brought to the floor would never pass the House by unanimous consent,” Pelosi said on a conference call with reporters. “It is a basis for some negotiations, but it would never pass the House by unanimous consent.”
In addition to the $250 billion in small business loans, Democratic leadership wanted $125 billion for financial institutions that serve low-income communities, $100 billion more for health care institutions, $150 billion for state and local governments, and a 15% increase in food security benefits.
The amendment put forth by Sen. Chris Van Hollen Thursday morning — and subsequently blocked by Mr. McConnell — would have addressed some of the “kinks” that Democrats took issue with the paycheck protection program (PPP). Specifically, Democrats wanted to include guardrails to ensure vulnerable and diverse populations had access to the funds.
“We have made our statement,” Pelosi said. “There is a disparity in access to capital in our country. We do not want this tragedy of the coronavirus to exacerbate that disparity, or to solidify it.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the Democrats’ move on Thursday was “disgusting” and putting politics ahead of the public good…
…Both Mr. McCarthy and Mr. McConnell said they were open to negotiating on the Dems’ demands in a subsequent bill.
“My colleagues must not treat working Americans as political hostages,” Mr. McConnell said.
“To my Democratic colleagues, please, please do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose, just because you want something more.”
“Nobody believes this is the Senate’s last word on COVID-19. We do not have to everything right now. We cannot play games with this crisis.”