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4 Dec, 2020 22:02

It’s ‘OK now...we have a new president’: Pelosi willing to make smaller Covid-19 relief deal, is accused of having played politics

It’s ‘OK now...we have a new president’: Pelosi willing to make smaller Covid-19 relief deal, is accused of having played politics

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being accused of having spent months blocking Covid-19 relief to help Joe Biden and hurt Donald Trump, after she said a smaller bill is now possible thanks to a lack of “other considerations.”

Pelosi (D-California) changed her tune on Covid-19 relief during a press conference on Friday, where she appeared more willing to cut a deal with Republicans than in previous months. 

Pelosi previously led House Democrats for months in a battle with the White House, unwilling to agree to anything less than the $2 trillion-plus envisioned by the House-passed HEROES Act. The California congresswoman even referred to a previous $1.6 trillion stimulus as not even “half a loaf.”

In her Friday press conference, however, she was much more willing to back a $900 billion package proposed as the basis for negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

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Asked by a reporter if rejecting the $1.6 trillion package was a mistake now that one worth much less is being discussed, Pelosi snapped at the characterization and insisted blocking relief previously was not a “mistake.”

“I’m going to tell you something, just don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake as a preface to your question if you want an answer,” she said. 

Her unwillingness to compromise previously “was not a mistake,” Pelosi insisted, and the reason a deal is possible now is because those months of no progress “has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without, shall we say, other considerations in the legislation that we don’t want.”

Pelosi added that a smaller amount of funding is more acceptable now, with Biden as the incoming president. 

“It’s for a shorter period of time, but that’s OK now, because we have a new president,” she said.

“We’re very pleased at where it is and, as I say, with a Democratic president committed to a scientific solution with the idea that we will have a vaccine is a complete game changer,” she added. 

Pelosi’s about-face on Covid-19 relief has set off a wave of criticism, with many accusing the Democratic leader of admitting to blocking previous legislation for the sake of partisan political gain.

“What is wrong with these people,” author and podcaster Dave Rubin tweeted in response to Pelosi’s statements.

“Now that we won the election, we’ll stop hurting people is quite the messaging,” writer Stephen L. Miller added. 

“Nancy said a $1.6 trillion stimulus offer from Trump was not even half a loaf, now they are angling for maybe $900bn,” People’s Policy Project founder and commenter Matt Breunig tweeted. “Can’t stand being confronted by this and more or less says the earlier bit was a calculated choice to help Dems in the election.”

The new bipartisan bill being negotiated reportedly includes funding for liability protections and support for businesses and an extension of unemployment aid. It does not, however, include direct payments to citizens as the first round of stimulus did. 

Pelosi met with McConnell on Thursday to discuss the proposal, and it is rumored the final bill could be attached to a government funding bill that needs to pass by December 11 to avoid a shutdown. 

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