Nancy Pelosi tells Stephen Colbert her plans to protect the $2 trillion bailout, ribs Trump for opposing vote-by-mail

Peter Weber

Stephen Colbert spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the Capitol on Thursday's Late Show, and he asked her why she isn't sheltering at home. "We are really working constantly on to prepare for our next bill but also to make sure that the legislation that was passed and signed by the president on Friday is fully implemented to meet the needs of America's working families," she said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has objected to a new coronavirus package, she added, but "we hope Mitch McConnell will awaken" to the severity of America's economic black hole.

"Are there going to be strings attached" to "the corporate bailout" in the $2.2. trillion bill already signed? Colbert asked. The law, as written, has "very stringent conditions" on industries receiving the money, Pelosi said, but "at the signing ceremony, the president decided to take upon himself to say he wasn't going to acknowledge or obey any of that, and that was most disappointing." She described Trump's "sad and frightening" signing statement as him declaring "he would be the oversight over all of this," and "that's the fight we have."

Pelosi said she introduced legislation Thursday to set up a House committee, modeled on the World War II Truman Committee, to contemporaneously watch that there's no profiteering, waste, fraud, or other abuses in the implementation of the rescue package. When Colbert asked how democracy should work "while we're all staying at home, all quarantining," Pelosi pointed to the $400 million Democrats had already secured for vote-by-mail, said more is needed, and gently chided Trump for warning expanded voting would doom Republican politicians. "Well, I think he should have more confidence in the Republican Party," she said. "Republicans have always been very good about voting by mail, I can tell you that as a former state chair of the California Democratic Party."

Pelosi's advice to America: "Wash your hands, hydrate, pray, and you can never dance too much." Colbert snuck in an off-color joke.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told Seth Meyers on Wednesday's Late Night she would have eliminated the law's $500 billion "slush fund," and while "they put a few strings on it," it isn't enough. "It's better to put some stings on it up front than it is to complain about it afterward, so that's what I'm pushing the secretary of the Treasury to do right now," Warren added.

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