PBS NEWSHOUR: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the U.S., the Trump administration and Congress are still discussing another economic aid package. But on Tuesday, the White House and leading Democratic lawmakers gave different accounts of how much progress is being made. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a central figure in those negotiations, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss where talks stand.
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: So, are you coming closer together on that all-important unemployment – federal unemployment benefits number?
Democrats were asking for $600 a week to continue.
SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: That’s right.
WOODRUFF: Republicans were saying $200.
Are you somewhere in between? We were told maybe you’re…
PELOSI: No, there’s no in between. There’s no in between.
The fact is that, since we passed our bill, which was 11 weeks ago tomorrow, 3.3 million more people have gone on to the infected list; of those infected, 70,000 more people have died.
And the Republicans said they were going to push the pause button. And they did. And then, last week, they came up with some piecemeal thing.
So, the – we’re not saying to the American people, more people are infected, more people are dying, more people are uninsured, more children are hunger-insecure, or food-insecure, and guess what? We’re going to cut your benefit.
WOODRUFF: Well, Madam Speaker, the – I mean, with all due respect, you called it piecemeal, and yet what the Republicans were offering was a short-term extension that would have allowed these extra unemployment benefits to keep flowing. Democrats said no.
PELOSI: Well, it would have been finished by now.
They were talking about a few – actually, the fact is, they didn’t have anything that they could pass in the Senate on their own side. So, if the press wants to say, well, they offered this, they offered that, they – you can’t offer something you don’t have.
We have a bill. It’s called the HEROES Act. It passed 11 weeks ago tomorrow. It would have saved lives.
They have nothing. They can’t even pass – they have said, we have 20 members who won’t vote for anything. So, what, we’re talking rhetoric, or are we talking reality about what one side or the other is offering?
And if they wanted to offer some piecemeal thing for one week that does not – you only do that when you’re on the verge of closing, of passing a bill and having it signed into law. Otherwise, it’s just showbiz.