On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the Republican Party has “disdain” toward working people. Her comments come in response to lawmakers within the Senate continuing to clash during stalled negotiations over the second COVID-19 stimulus package.
Pelosi made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. During the interview, Cooper asked the House Speaker if there had been any type of progress made toward getting financial help to working-class people.
Pelosi stated that her colleagues across the aisle did not trust how Americans without a job are using the additional $600-per-week federal unemployment benefits during the health crisis.
“While they have disdain or sort of condescension toward working people it seems because they don’t trust how they might use the $600. That kind of thing. ‘Oh, they have money to pay the rent. They are just not paying the rent,’” Pelosi told Cooper.
“We cannot operate if we’re not even stipulating to a basic set of facts: the people are hurting, that unemployment is high and that we have a way to address this in terms of honoring heroes, testing, tracing, treatment as well as money in the pockets of the American people, being respectful of them and understanding their needs,” she added.
Pelosi’s comments come as negotiations within the Senate have stalled over the $600 a week unemployment benefit, which if extended Republicans want to reduce to $200. The unemployment benefit appears to be the hold up on getting the stimulus package approved.
Democrats have made it clear that they want to see the weekly $600 payments extended until the end of the year. Republicans, however, are pushing for a 70 percent wage replacement match instead. The match would see the federal government providing $200 per month in federal unemployment benefits.
On Monday, Senate Republicans rolled out their $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Getting it passed has been an uphill battle as many GOP senators aren’t buying it. Earlier in the week, Donald Trump responded to the package by calling it “semi-irrelevant.”
“Leader McConnell said, ‘We need a pause.’ Then came back this Monday with a piecemeal. Well, that’s not – this is as big as it gets, a plague that has an impact on our economy. And it’s about the lives of the American people, the livelihood of the American people and the life of our democracy,” Pelosi stated on Wednesday.
Pelosi also told Cooper that the following science was critical to combating the virus and breathing life back into the economy.
“But if you don’t believe in science and you don’t believe in governance, as they don’t seem to, then that makes it more problematic,” she stated.
You can hear Pelosi’s comments in the video below.
"This is as big as it gets," says Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as negotiations over the next stimulus bill stall. "A plague that has an impact on our economy and is about the lives of the American people, the livelihood of the American people and the life of our democracy." pic.twitter.com/dzHY1ZsG1r— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 30, 2020