Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spoken out about the second stimulus bill, saying that Democrats are "not budging" on emergency aid provisons, and blaming Republicans for the current negotiations impasse. The Hill reports that Pelosi spoke out about the divide over the bill, saying, "We're not budging. They have to move. They have to move."
"Why should there be a bill that has far less [of] what the public needs?" Pelosi added. "We have that responsibility, and they're just going to have to come up with more money. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer had previously been engaged in coronavirus relief bill talks with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, both representatives of the Trump administration. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement on the new bill. Pelosi says that the main issue was that the Democrats were willing to decrease their $3 trillion budget by $1 trillion, but that Republicans would not increase their limit by the same amount, which would have the two parties meeting in the middle.
During a press briefing today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again brushed off the possibility of further stimulus talks with the White House without major concessions on spending from the Trump Administration https://t.co/6xahkIt9oy by @theothersarahh pic.twitter.com/7XFGOEqMad— Forbes (@Forbes) August 27, 2020
Pelosi's comments come after Meadows told reporters that his office has reached out to her office about restarting negotiations. During an interview with Politico, Meadows said, "I actually had my staff reach out again yesterday to Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi's chief of staff to say that we haven't heard anything from her." He added, "The president wants [a deal], but I'm not optimistic."
Meadows then blamed Pelosi for stalling the talks. "It's really been Speaker Pelosi really driving this train as a conductor more so than really anybody," he said. "And I think privately she says she wants a deal and publicly she says she wants a deal, but when it comes to dealing with Republicans and the administration, we haven't seen a lot of action." Notably, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hamill, told Fox News that Meadows' staff did not directly ask about negotiations, and only sent a text message asking if Pelosi's team had the correct phone number for Meadows. Commenting Thursday, Pelosi said, "That could be a very short conversation if they're not ready to meet in the middle."