Politics

‘Schizophrenic’: McConnell Tears Into Pelosi, Democrats For Continuing To Block COVID-19 Relief

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrats for continuing to block COVID-19 relief funding, as Pelosi shut down another offer Tuesday night from Republicans and the White House.

McConnell explained, during a floor speech Wednesday, the efforts and offers Republicans have made to try and get a relief bill passed. Pelosi said Friday she would accept a coronavirus stimulus package after months of stalled negotiations, however, she declined a $916 billion coronavirus relief proposal that was offered by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and supported by President Trump.

The relief proposal would have given $600 direct payment for individuals and $1,200 for couples, according to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. McConnell ripped Pelosi for refusing the offer and other offers throughout the ongoing pandemic.

“In September, we tried something else — a targeted effort to send hundreds of billions of dollars for the PPP, vaccine development, and other priorities. Every Democrat voted to block us from even debating it. And they did it a second time in October. Last week, after speaking with the Administration, I made yet another overture. The Democratic Leader said no thanks,” McConnell said in his floor speech.

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“And just yesterday, the Speaker and the Democratic Leader brushed off two different overtures in the space of about two hours! I suggested that both sides drop what seem to be the most controversial demand in the eyes of our counterparts. Democrats continue to oppose common-sense legal protections that university presidents have been begging for and Republicans see no need to send huge sums of money to state and local governments whose tax revenues have actually gone up,” McConnell said.

Pelosi, who has held out on a big deal for around six months, said at a Friday press conference that now that Joe Biden is President-elect, she is willing to do a smaller deal. A bipartisan group introduced a $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package that Tuesday. (RELATED: ‘A New President And A Vaccine’: Pelosi Explains Why She Will Approve COVID-19 Relief Bill After Continued Delays)

“Negotiating 101 suggests we set those two controversial pieces aside and plow ahead with the huge pile of things that we agree on. But that would require both sides to truly want an outcome. Just hours after Democrats poured cold water on that, Secretary Mnuchin tried another new tack, and sent over an offer. In a bizarre and schizophrenic press release, the Speaker and the Leader said the Administration was “obstruct[ing]” negotiations… by negotiating,” he continued.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed House Democrats for prioritizing the legalization of marijuana over relief Thursday for COVID-19. (RELATED: ‘Picking Weed Over The Workers’: McCarthy Hammers Dems Over Delayed COVID Relief)

Democrats in the House blocked a Republican-led move to reconsider a coronavirus relief bill Thursday. It was the 40th time Democrats blocked a package of Republican stimulus bills from passing the House. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy Sends Letter To 23 House Democrats Who Threatened Pelosi If She Didn’t Get Bipartisan COVID Relief Deal)

Pelosi has continued to refuse offers from the White House and has pushed for a stimulus exceeding $2 trillion.