House Speaker Nancy Pelosi updates CNN’s Dana Bash on negotiations with Republican on the next round of pandemic financial aid.
Pelos said Democrats are willing to “come down a trillion, not that we cut out any of our priorities, but we shorten the length of time in which they would be in effect.”
“I mean, tens of trillions, $60 trillion, actually, $250,000 — there’s a long way for us to come together. But we will come down a trillion, you go up a trillion, we will find our common ground here. Let’s go to the table,” she told Republicans.
PELOSI: Well, I hope so.
BASH: Or are negotiations dead?
PELOSI: I hope so.
We — look, we have a big difference, and here’s why. For example, millions of children in America are food-insecure, and their families as well. But I always like to focus on the children.
In the — in our bill, we have tens of billions of dollars to address the hunger needs in our country, which are there normally, but exacerbated during the pandemic. We have tens of billions of dollars.
They have $250,000, $250,000.So, do they care?
I have a prayer that I say, let’s pray for those who are hungry; let’s pray harder for those who will not feed them.
PELOSI: Then we go to — the Princeton Lab, Eviction Lab, says that we need resources, there are going to be this many millions of evictions.
So, given that…
PELOSI: And the president is going to study it, going to look at it.
BASH: Right. Right.
So, given that, you are the speaker of the House. You have enormous power. You have been in these negotiations.
BASH: Given what you just said about people hungry and worried and very, very fearful, why not get back in that room and come up with a compromise on some of these core issues?
PELOSI: That’s right.
BASH: I understand — I understand you want to get the best possible for people, but, at some point, you have got to work with the other side, right?
PELOSI: Well, that’s right.
And that’s why we said we will come down a trillion, not that we cut out any of our priorities, but we shorten the length of time in which they would be in effect. And next year, we can extend them again. And they could add something.
I mean, tens of trillions, $60 trillion, actually, $250,000 — there’s a long way for us to come together. But we will come down a trillion, you go up a trillion, we will find our common ground here. Let’s go to the table.
BASH: OK. So, why aren’t you…
PELOSI: But we can’t accept what they have there.
BASH: So, why aren’t you at the table, then? Why aren’t you guys working all weekend, then, to try to figure that out?
PELOSI: Well, we said, come back — come back when you want to put up some more money. But we can’t accept the meager pass that they have there.
And, by the way, this is really a thing — an issue that takes a lot of our time, opening up our schools. We have the data that shows that, if you open up actually, if you open up virtually, and if you open up hybrid, it costs just about the same amount of money.
And so what we have seen is, of the 100 largest school districts, 62 are opening 100 percent virtual.
BASH: Right. So…
PELOSI: And yet the president is saying, unless you open up actual, we’re withholding federal dollars.
BASH: So — OK.
So, I want to talk specifically about this extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits that expired.
Two top Obama economic officials, Tim Geithner and Jason Furman, wrote in June that extending $600 would — quote — “does not make sense now.”
You’re standing firm on that number, on that $600.
BASH: Why are you insisting on that, as opposed to having a compromise with the Republicans, so that people out there who are hungry, who desperately need that money could get something, rather than nothing, which is what they have now?
PELOSI: Well, let’s just say that the $600, many economists tell us — I didn’t even see that on their part — many economists that that has kept many, many millions of people out of poverty, A.
B, what they put on the floor of the House Senate last week was $200, $200. And it represents..
BASH: OK. So, you have $600. They have $200. What about $400? I mean, that seems like a pretty clear compromise.
PELOSI: Yes, but what the president proposed — what the president proposed yesterday at his country club, surrounded by his people who must have spent thousands of dollars to join, is something that won’t even work.
He is talking about, well, I will put up $400, and the states will put up $100. They have the money.
They don’t have the money.