House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quoted Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse during a Sunday morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Pelosi told guest host Dana Bash that she was in agreement with Sasse, who referred to President Donald Trump’s latest executive orders on coronavirus relief as “unconstitutional slop.” (RELATED: ‘He Was Like A Blob’: Nancy Pelosi Calls William Barr ‘A Henchman For The President’)
President Trump announced four executive orders Saturday even as negotiations in Congress crumbled.
The executive orders include a payroll tax holiday for those who make less than $100,000 annually — which he promised to revisit if re-elected with the goal of eliminating that tax entirely, and a $400-per-week addition to the Paycheck Protection Program for workers. Other orders include student loan relief and a prohibition on evictions.
Sasse responded to the orders with harsh criticism, likening Trump’s style to that of former President Barack Obama.
“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop. President Obama did not have the power to unilaterally rewrite immigration law with DACA, and President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law,” Sasse said.
Bash put the question to Pelosi, asking whether Democrats in Congress intended to sue the president over the orders. “Well, let’s talk about what he did do or what he said he did with these executive actions. Are they legal? And if you don’t think they are, are you going to sue to block them?” she asked.
“Well, the fact is, is that whether they’re legal or not takes time to figure out,” Pelosi said. “I associate my remarks with what the senator says, they’re ‘unconstitutional slop.’ Right now we want to address the needs of the American people. As my constitutional advisers tell me they’re absurdly unconstitutional.”
Pelosi went on to say that she had to keep the focus on making sure the American people were getting what they needed and the resources were available for students who were preparing to return to schools.
“So given that, are negotiations going to resume?” Bash pressed.
“Well, I hope so,” Pelosi concluded.