House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is criticizing the Trump administration following the collapse of stimulus relief bill negotiations last week. Just days after the discussions were ground to a halt, prompting fears that much needed relief will not be coming for the millions of Americans struggling to stay afloat amid the economic crisis, Pelosi claimed that the administration has refused to meet Democrats halfway and that "the Admin still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems."
Democrats have compromised. Repeatedly, we have made clear to the Trump Admin that we are willing to come down $1 trillion if they will come up $1 trillion. However, it is clear that the Admin still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 12, 2020
The House Speaker's remarks came amid claims that the Trump administration refuses to budge on the price tag of the next stimulus relief bill. While Democrats had pushed a $3 trillion proposal, Republicans had sought a far more conservative total of $1 trillion, a price tag that many Democrats felt did not meet the need of the crisis. This price tag is believed to be among the key factors that led to the collapse of negotiations, Democrats claiming that the Trump administration has refused to meet in the middle even as both sides attempt to resume discussions.
"An overture was made by Secretary Mnuchin to meet and he made clear that his televised comments from earlier today still stand: the White House is not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package," Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement Wednesday. "We have again made clear to the Administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously. The lives and livelihoods of the American people, as well as the life of our democracy, are at stake."
Those comments were almost immediately opposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the four people who had been at the negotiation table for nearly two weeks. Speaking Wednesday evening, Mnuchin said that Pelosi's "statement is not an accurate reflection of our conversation." According to Reuters, Mnuchin went on to claim that Pelosi "was unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion." He added that "the Democrats have no interest in negotiating," reiterating similar sentiments made by President Donald Trump, who on Saturday signed executive orders targeting unemployment benefits, evictions, a payroll tax cut, and student loans.