White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned Friday to “never doubt” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “on anything she says.”
During the daily White House press briefing, Psaki was asked by USA Today reporter Joey Garrison about the timeline for the passage of the Biden administration’s proposed coronavirus relief package.
“I know you just said you would refrain from giving a timeline on the Covid relief bill and it’s passage, but outside an hour ago Speaker Pelosi said ‘absolutely’ when asked if the Covid stimulus would pass by March 15,” Garrison said. “Is that, do you also share that confidence that it would pass by mid-March when those unemployment benefits run up?”
“Never doubt Speaker Pelosi in anything she says. That’s kind of a lesson I’ve learned in Washington. She is a powerful and fierce force up there,” Psaki responded. “We’re not going to set a timeline from here. It is a bill that would be passed by Congress, of course. Speaker Pelosi, you know, is Speaker of the House, so certainly we would defer to her, and the president looks forward to signing the bill when it comes to his desk.”
President Joe Biden released the details of his $1.9 trillion relief bill in January before taking office. The bill is still being negotiated in Congress, with Republicans, and some Democrats, concerned over some of its details, including its high cost. A large number of Democrats have suggested passing the bill more quickly using the budget reconciliation process rather than with a bipartisan approach. (RELATED: ‘Bad Politics’: John King Says White House Needs To ‘Smooth Some Feathers’ After Kamala Harris Undercuts Joe Manchin)
Garrison pressed Psaki asking, “You feel an urgency to get it passed by that date though?”
“We feel an urgency to move it forward as quickly as possible, and I think what you are referring to is, kind of, the unemployment cliff that will hit in March,” Psaki answered, “But certainly, we would like to see action as quickly as possible, as we’ve been saying, but I’m not going to set a new deadline from here. Obviously, we are working closely with Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer, or Leader Schumer, sorry, every day.”