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26 Apr, 2020 18:22

‘Just calm down’: Pelosi fails to reassure with message for state and local governments battling Covid-19 and its economic fallout

‘Just calm down’: Pelosi fails to reassure with message for state and local governments battling Covid-19 and its economic fallout

As small businesses and state governments struggle amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Nancy Pelosi has dismissed accusations that she made an error by supporting an interim relief package, telling critics to “just calm down.”

Speaker of the House Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have received heavy criticism from progressives following their support of an interim coronavirus relief bill that did not include financial support for state and local governments, originally a sticking point for their party. 

A second CARES Act has been promised, which will be a more expansive relief bill, though the interim package has pushed that potential legislation back. Democrats also delayed the previous CARES Act, which could spell bad news for the upcoming bill. 

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently suggesting state governments should “go the bankruptcy route” rather than receive federal funding, the contents of the followup CARES Act have come under question.

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Asked if she made a “tactical error” in supporting the interim bill — which replenished the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Pelosi pushed back and had strong words for her critics.

“Just calm down,” the California Democrat said. “We will have state and local, and we will have it in a very significant way.”

“The intervention came, we made the most of it,” she added, referring to the relief bill. 

Responding to governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo being “impatient” over the lack of federal funds amid the pandemic, the congresswoman said the impatience is actually a good thing.

“They should be impatient, their impatience will help us get an even bigger number," she said.

The only Democrat in the House to not follow Pelosi’s leadership and vote for the emergency interim relief bill was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has blasted Democrats for “abdicating” responsibility by pushing off promises onto future bills. 

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“We haven’t legislated for a month and thousands of people are dying… Every time we pass one of these bills, we are hearing that the real solution is coming in the next bill, and the next bill and the next bill,” she told MSNBC this week about her lack of support.

Nearly 50 progressive organizations also wrote a joint letter to Pelosi and Schumer, calling on them to demand a relief bill with higher financial payouts from the federal government to individuals, and no bailouts to major corporations. 

Pelosi’s “just calm down” comments have not earned her much more support on social media, with many expressing shock over the congresswoman’s interview. 

“Pelosi's performance makes Biden look sharp as a tack,” journalist Jack Furnari tweeted.

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“Judge it for what it does. Don’t criticize it for what it doesn’t,” she continued.