House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is receiving some criticism this week after she seemed to say that Democrats are more open to giving ground to Republicans on a coronavirus stimulus deal in Congress because of the election of Joe Biden.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers recently put forth a $908 billion relief bill. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have said the bill “should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.”
The possibility of negotiations come after months of stalemates that both sides of the aisle have blamed on their political opponents.
Asked what has changed, Pelosi said during her weekly press conference on Friday, “A new president and a vaccine.”
Moments later, the speaker said, the new proposed package “has simplicity, it’s what we’ve had in our bills. It’s for a shorter period of time but that’s OK now because we have a new president.”
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"Don't characterize what we did before as a mistake as a preface to your question if you want an answer" pic.twitter.com/ggsGWRuist
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2020
In late September, the Democrats were crafting a $2.2 trillion relief bill. Republicans said that they could not get behind a figure that large and Pelosi stressed that she was open to negotiations.
When CNN reporter Manu Raju followed-up during her weekly press conference on Friday, asking Pelosi why the Democrats are now willing to go for a lower figure, she shot back, “I’m going to tell you something. Don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake as a preface to your question if you want an answer.”
She continued, “That was not a mistake, it was a decision and it has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want.”
Republicans quickly jumped on Pelosi’s remarks. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted, “Nancy Pelosi is finally admitting she let businesses die and families struggle for months all because of the election. Democrats see this entire crisis as leverage to play politics.”
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