House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated on Tuesday she was not prepared to give any ground in negotiations with the Trump administration on a coronavirus stimulus bill, hinting at massive differences and a lack of shared values as she explained her refusal to accept President Trump’s latest $1.8 trillion offer.
“It is unfortunate that we do not have shared values with this White House,” Pelosi said during a contentious interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I have every confidence in the arguments that we make because it’s based on science and documentation.”
Pelosi referenced provisions in the GOP bill – including two tax measures as well as the administration’s alleged unwillingness to address the coronavirus crisis – as seemingly irreconcilable differences in ongoing negotiations.
Democrats have downsized the value of their proposed relief package by more than $1.2 trillion, a drop that was achieved by reducing the timeframe the relief would be intended to cover. Their proposal stands at $2.2 trillion.
Republicans came up from their initial target of $1 trillion – or less – with the $1.8 trillion proposal put forth by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday the largest to-date.
Pelosi dismissed the proposal as inadequate, drawing criticism from some of her Democratic colleagues.
“I will not let the wrong be the enemy of the right,” Pelosi told Blitzer when he questioned her unwillingness to compromise on certain provisions in order to help the American public. “Do you have any idea what the difference is between the spending that they have in their bill and that we have in our bill?”
She also lashed out at Blitzer when he brought up the fact that other Democrats – like California Rep. Ro Khanna – in the House support the $1.8 trillion proposal, labeling Blitzer an “apologist” for “the Republican position.”
“[Rep.] Ro Khanna – that’s nice, that isn’t what we’re going to do,” Pelosi said. “Just because the president wants to put a check with his name on it in the mail that we should not be doing all we can to help people pay the rent, put food on the table, to enhance benefits …”
Pelosi added that Khanna was not familiar with the particulars of the bill because he was not personally negotiating it.
It was not clear that the House speaker was willing to compromise on the Democrat’s $2.2 trillion proposal, as she largely blamed the current economic situation on how the administration has handled the pandemic.