Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly refused to take questions from CNN's Manu Raju as to why she refused a $1.8 trillion dollar stimulus package for Americans before the election, but accepted a $900 billion stimulus package after the election.
The HEROES Act, albeit a much less robust bill than the one she was demanding all through spring and summer, was passed by the House on Sunday and awaits Senate approval on Monday.
"Pelosi wouldn’t answer my question about why the $900 billion deal is more acceptable to her than the $1.8 trillion offer Mnuchin made to her this fall," Raju tweeted on Sunday.
"Pelosi wouldn’t call on me at the press conference, which is becoming a pattern, even though just five reporters were there," Raju continued. "She left the press conference as I asked her the question. And she ignored my question in the hallway as well."
"Asked again in the hallways why this proposal is more acceptable than the Mnuchin plan, Pelosi didn't respond. But Schumer, who was walking with her in the hallway, said: 'Ask Mitch McConnell.'"
Raju noted that while it is true that McConnell and Senate Republicans had expressed opposition to the large stimulus package, Pelosi also rejected it, having described the proposal as "one step forward, two steps back."
Democrats have come under fire for playing partisan politics after they agreed to a substantially smaller stimulus than what was originally supported by the Trump administration. When the proposal was initially put forward, Pelosi demanded that the stimulus be even larger.
The criticism from Republicans became even more intense when Pelosi answered a question earlier this month surrounding her objection to the larger proposal in favour of the smaller stimulus, simply stating "new President."
McConnell slammed Democrat stalling on the decision, stating "There is no doubt this new agreement contains input from our Democratic colleagues. It is bipartisan. But these matters could have been settled long ago. So why did it take all this time? We know why.
"We have heard Democrats say openly that they were not willing to deal all summer and fall, but are willing now, because they now have a President-elect of their own political party," McConnell explained.
"I really regret that some on the Democratic side decided that partisan presidential politics were more important than getting urgent and noncontroversial relief out the door much, much sooner — to families who have needed this help badly."
Pelosi admitted that her refusal to approve relief that Americans desperately needed was politically motivated.
In October, when she was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer as to why there was a hold up on delivering relief, she refused to answer questions as to why the relief package was held up for so long.
Pelosi had continuously refused to pass a bill that would spell relief for those who have lost work due to government enforced business closures.
Blitzer and Pelosi had been speaking about the relief bill, which is still languishing on the Congress floor, when Pelosi lashed out against Blitzer for not having enough respect for those members of the House who have been working on the bill since May without passing anything.
"You evidently do not respect the chairman of the committees who wrote this bill."
"I respect all of you," Blitzer mitigated.
Then Pelosi chastized Blitzer for not exhibiting enough awe at the intellect of her colleagues.
"And I wish you would respect the knowledge that goes into getting the uh meeting the needs of the American people. But again you've been on a jag defending the administration all this time with no knowledge of the difference between our two bills and thank you for giving me the opportunity to say that to you in person," she smiled.
"Madame Speaker these are incredibly difficult times right now, and we'll leave it on that note," Blitzer said, clearly at the end of the segment. But Pelosi held on, needing to get in the last word.
"No," Pelosi pressed, "we'll leave it on the note that you are not right on this Wolf. And I hate to say that to you," she said, contradicting herself from only seconds earlier saying she was glad to say these things to him. "But I feel confident about it and I feel confident about my colleagues and I feel confidence in my chairs."
"It's not about me," Blitzer said. "It's about millions of American who can't put food on the table, who can't pay the rent—"
"And we represent them," Pelosi said, stating the obvious about the function of those representatives in the House of Representatives.
Blitzer continued his thought, "Who are having trouble getting by," he said.
Pelosi began oddly to repeat herself. "And we represent them. And we represent them."
"These long food lines that we see," Blitzer continued.
"And we represent them."
"I know you represent them," Blitzer said. "I'm just saying—"
"We know them," Pelosi said. "We represent them and we know them."
"As we say," Blitzer tried to say.
"We know them, we represent them, yes," Pelosi repeated for the fifth time.
"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good as they say here in Washington," Blitzer said.
"It is nowhere near perf—" Pelosi said, cutting herself off and trying to figure out what she was trying to say.
"Madame Speaker," Blitzer tried to bring the interview to a conclusion.
"Always the case but we're not even close to the good," Pelosi intended to clarify.
"We'll see what happens because everyday is critically, critically important."
Pelosi took a sarcastic tone, saying "Thank you for your sensitivity to our constituents' needs," but obviously she didn't mean this at all. It's as though she thinks Blitzer, in stating his concern for Americans who can't feed their families because of the recalcitrance of Pelosi and her fellow representatives, doesn't actually care.
Blitzer wouldn't have it. :I am sensitive to them because I see them on the street, begging for food, begging for money," he said, and could easily have been referring to Pelosi's own San Francisco, where the homeless problem is rampant and continuing to grow. "Madame Speaker, thank you so much."
"Have you fed them? We feed them," Pelosi said, although it's unclear as to what she was talking about since she hasn't fed anyone with the relief bill that's been promised to Americans since May and held up in the House just to punish the president.
Blitzer finally managed to get the segment closed. "We'll continue this conversation down the road, for sure."