Stimulus Check: Mitch McConnell Calls Nancy Pelosi a 'Joke' While Claiming She's Blocking Relief Package

As a stimulus relief bill remains stalled on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for blocking any additional aid to the American people. In a post shared to Twitter on Sept. 16, McConnell lashed out at Pelosi, accusing her of her playing "pointless political games" at the expense of the general public amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis it has sparked.

In his tweet, McConnell also claimed that "Pelosi's own House Democrats" are growing tired of her alleged tactics, which he says have prevented any proposed stimulus package from moving through Congress and eventually reaching Americans. Pointing out that "people are hurting" and "need help," he dubbed the House Speaker a "joke" who will not approve of anything other than the HEROES Act, which she introduced in May.

McConnell's tweet came just after a GOP-backed stimulus bill with a price tag just above $500 billion was introduced and ultimately failed in a Senate vote. For many Democrats, that price tag was far too low to provide adequate aid in the crisis. Although the bill extended enhanced unemployment benefits, it only did so at a rate of $300 per week, half the price of the benefits under the CARES Act and the provision included in the HEROES Act. It also failed to include aid for local and state governments and did not include a provision allowing for a second round of stimulus checks.

Before the "skinny" bill had formally been introduced, it had faced criticism from leading Democrats, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In a letter, Schumer criticized his Republican counterparts for "moving even further in the wrong direction" with the proposal, adding that "Republicans may call their proposal 'skinny,' but it would be more appropriate to call it 'emaciated.'" Pelosi, meanwhile, echoed that, stating, "they're making a skinny — in fact, Chuck Schumer and I call it an emaciated — proposal for a massive problem."

As negotiations regarding the GOP-backed HEALS Act remain deadlocked, Pelosi has continued her push for the passage of the HEROES Act, a more than $3 trillion bill she introduced in May. That proposal was passed by the House of Representatives later that month, but McConnell, dubbing it a “$3 trillion left-wing wish list,” has refused to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote.