House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called CNN’s Wolf Blitzer an “apologist” for the Republican position on potential coronavirus relief legislation, during an interview on Tuesday evening.
Congress has been deadlocked on additional relief legislation for several weeks, with House Democrats passing a $2.2 trillion bill and Senate Republicans attempting to keep the price tag under $1 trillion. However, President Trump has offered House Democrats a $1.8 trillion deal.
On Sunday, Representative Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) urged Democrats to accept the deal. But Pelosi refused to do so when pressed by Blitzer on Tuesday.
“They really need the money right now,” Blitzer said, referring to Americans who have lost work because of the pandemic. “Even members of your own caucus want to accept this deal…What do you say to Ro Khanna?”
“What I say to you is, I don’t know why you’re always an apologist and many of your colleagues are apologists for the Republican position,” Pelosi responded. “Ro Khanna—that’s nice. That isn’t what we’re going to do.”
Pelosi snarks at end of interview: Thank you for our sensitivity to our constituents' needs."
Wolf: "I do because I see them on the streets begging for food."
Pelosi: "Have you fed them? We feed them." pic.twitter.com/MJjwd4TUe9
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 13, 2020
Blitzer further pushed Pelosi on why she wouldn’t take the $1.8 trillion deal, asking if she was attempting “to not allow the president to take credit if there’s a deal that will help millions of Americans, right now?”
“Let me say this: with all due respect…you really don’t know what you’re talking about,” Pelosi responded. “Overwhelmingly, my caucus wants what is right for the American people.”
While negotiations on comprehensive relief legislation have stalled, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) offered on Tuesday to hold a vote on replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program once the Senate returns from recess next week. That program offers loans to businesses forced to cease operations because of the pandemic.