Aug 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi rips GOP: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore into her Republican colleagues on Thursday for their approach to negotiating the next coronavirus stimulus package, telling CNBC's Jim Cramer: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn."

Why it matters: Democrats and the Trump administration have not agreed to any "top-line numbers" and remain "trillions of dollars apart," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Thursday.

  • Pelosi, who has led a united House Democratic caucus that passed a $3 trillion relief package in May, has been "almost entirely unyielding in her demands," Politico reports.
  • Republicans, meanwhile, remain divided — with up to 20 GOP senators unlikely to vote for any coronavirus stimulus package, no matter the price tag.

The exchange:

CRAMER: "Why can't you go across the aisle and say, Rep. Lewis, civil rights legend, would have loved it if we could do something for the totally disenfranchised in this country. Can we give a huge chunk of money to the people who are disenfranchised, to the minorities who want so badly to stay in business and can't? And the people who are trying to go to college or who have student loans who are minorities, who are the most affected because they have the least chance in our country? That's gotta be something that both sides can agreed to.
PELOSI: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn, for what you just described. That's the problem. See the thing is, they don't believe in governance. And that requires some acts of governance to do that."

The big picture: Another 1.2 million people filed for initial unemployment claims last week, even as the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefits from the CARES Act expired.

What to watch: “I have said we see a light at the end of the tunnel, we just don’t know how long the tunnel is," Pelosi said at a press briefing Thursday, referring to progress in negotiations. But she warned: "The light at the end of the tunnel may be the freight train of the virus coming at us if we do not contain it.”

  • Meadows initially said on Wednesday that he is "extremely doubtful" the two sides will reach a deal if there isn't a breakthrough by Friday.
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) shot back at Thursday's briefing: "We're not quitting. We’re ready to work. We’re going to keep working. ... If Republicans want to throw up their hands walk away, that's on them."

The bottom line: "We're not having a short-term extension," Pelosi said as she walked out of the briefing.

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