House Dem: Schumer And Pelosi Give ‘A Middle Finger To The American People’

As Some House Democrats Declare Themselves ‘Angry’ And ‘Frustrated,’ Democratic Leaders Still Won’t Negotiate Seriously, Refusing To Back Off Their ‘Absurd Demands,’ While They Throw Numbers Around That Even They Acknowledge Don’t Represent Real Concessions


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The Senate was supposed to spend this week finalizing another bipartisan rescue package for the American people…. Unfortunately, the Democrats have continued to let working families down. They are still rejecting any more relief for anyone unless they get to run down a wish list of demands with no real relationship to COVID-19…. There was never any question that bipartisan compromise would be needed to get an outcome…. But instead, the country got something else entirely. Instead of working with our serious framework, the Speaker of the House and the Senate Democratic Leader spent weeks insisting on a completely unrealistic, far-left proposal that even their own Democratic members mocked as a go-nowhere messaging stunt the instant it was first released. Instead of letting their committees and their members discuss substantive issues across the aisle, they said nobody could negotiate but them. And instead of staying focused on the real needs of our nation, these two Democratic leaders have held the talks hostage — for weeks now — over non-COVID-related ideological items which the political left has wanted since long before this virus hit our shores.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 8/13/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “The Secretary of the Treasury and the White House Chief of Staff have given ground. They’ve put new issues on the table that Democrats wanted. They’ve worked to find commonality. But the Democrats are barely even pretending to negotiate. Barely even pretending. The Speaker’s latest spin is that it is some heroic sacrifice to lower her demand from a made-up three-and-a-half-trillion-dollar marker that was never going to become law… to an equally made-up two-and-a-half trillion-dollar marker. She calls this meeting in the middle. That’s not negotiating. That’s throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. People who have serious policy proposals that are fitted to actual needs cannot breezily knock off a trillion here, and add a trillion there…. In point of fact, the Speaker and the Leader have not conceded anything. They haven’t budged on their absurd demands. They just moved up the expiration date a few weeks on the exact same crazy wish-list, so the price tag comes down without moving an inch on the merits. And they’ve refused Republicans’ offers to pass everything that we can agree to, right now. Republicans don’t think the disputed issues should hold up the most urgent aid for working families. But Democrats say no. Their partisan games continue. And so the nation’s pain continues, too.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 8/13/2020)
  • SEN. McCONNELL: “While the press tries its hardest to praise Speaker Pelosi for ‘playing hardball,’ her own House Democrats are rebelling. They say they’re ‘frustrated’ and ‘angry’ that relief is being held up over what they themselves acknowledge is a, quote, ‘political wish-list’. Quote: ‘the HEROES Act went too far.’ These are Democrats’ words. Even the Speaker’s own members are not buying her political spin. They want what Republicans want, what the Administration wants, what American families everywhere want — an outcome.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 8/13/2020)


Speaker Pelosi And Sen. Schumer Keep Emphasizing That Democrats Aren’t Actually Dropping Any Of Their Demands, They’re Just Offering To Shift Dates Around To Change Spending Totals, But Not Policy

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “Well, we said we would -- we would come down a trillion. Now, it doesn’t mean that we have things in there that would cut out. It means that we could talk about how long our provisions would be in effect. So we can take things down, instead of the end of September of next year, a shorter period of time and we’ll revisit all of it next year anyway. So, by changing some of the timing, we can come down.” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 8/09/2020)

  • PELOSI: “So we’re far apart, yes. Can we find some common ground? Yes. Can we cut back on our number? Not cut back on the number of children who are fed but for the length--how long the legislation lasts.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 8/07/2020)
  • PELOSI: “[T]his is a different kind of a negotiation.  This isn’t just about dollars…. Now, we can come down in terms of the length of time for our food…. And so, it’s a values debate that we’re proud to have, but understanding we must come to agreement.  So, how do we make those reductions?  My view, one way is we have food going on for a longer time.  We could go for a shorter time and revisit the issue after the first of the year.” (MSNBC’s “Live with Kristen Welker,” 8/07/2020)

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “[A]s we’ve said, we are willing to make compromises. [O]ur bill, the HEROES bill is at 3.4 [trillion dollars]. Theirs is at one [trillion]. So, the Speaker made a very fair offer. Let’s narrow it each. And you should have seen the vehemence. No. I said you mean after she said we’ll go down a trillion, you go up a trillion, we didn’t specify where or when, and it’s mainly in terms of dates but that’s okay, and you should have seen their faces. Absolutely not.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 8/07/2020)


House Democrats: ‘At This Point, It’s A Middle Finger To The American People,’ ‘The HEROES Act Went Too Far… With A Bunch Of Political Wish List Things’

REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): “I share the concerns that I’m hearing from my constituents: I’m pissed. I’m angry… At this point, it’s a middle finger to the American people.” (“House Democratic Freshmen In Tough Races Growing Agitated About Failure Of Stimulus Talks,” CNN, 8/11/2020)

REP. BEN McADAMS (D-UT): “As it stands now, we’ve already failed… I am frustrated we don’t have an agreement we can vote on already.” (“House Democratic Freshmen In Tough Races Growing Agitated About Failure Of Stimulus Talks,” CNN, 8/11/2020)

REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D-MN): “To me, no bill is not an option… And that’s not unique to this voice. I would argue that most members feel the same. The need is too great, the time too short and the risk of not doing so too severe.” (“House Democratic Freshmen In Tough Races Growing Agitated About Failure Of Stimulus Talks,” CNN, 8/11/2020)

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ): “We all have a responsibility to get this done… This is not one of those issues that if we don’t get it done ... we can argue about it during the election.” (“House Democratic Freshmen In Tough Races Growing Agitated About Failure Of Stimulus Talks,” CNN, 8/11/2020)

REP. HALEY STEVENS (D-MI): “Schools and municipalities in my district still need support from their federal government, so I am hoping that a bipartisan deal can come together soon…” (“House Democratic Freshmen In Tough Races Growing Agitated About Failure Of Stimulus Talks,” CNN, 8/11/2020)


FLASHBACK: House Democrats And Reporters Knew From The Very Beginning That Speaker Pelosi’s Bill Was ‘A Wish-List’ Representing ‘Washington Politics At Its Worst’ And ‘Partisan Gamesmanship’ Stuffed With ‘Unrelated Wastes Of Taxpayer Dollars’

Speaker Pelosi’s Own Members Blasted Her Bill For ‘Playing Politics’ And ‘Advanc[Ing] A Partisan Wish List’ That ‘Has No Chance At Becoming Law’

“Privately, several House Democrats concede their latest bill feels like little more than an effort to appease the most liberal members of the caucus, many of whom were chafed that their most important priorities were minimized or ignored entirely in previous coronavirus negotiations.” (“McConnell Brushes Off Pelosi As She Finalizes Relief Package,” Politico, 5/11/2020)

REP. CINDY AXNE (D-IA): “I am deeply troubled by numerous provisions in this bill that could see large amounts of taxpayer dollars allocated to helping those who are not hurting at all. I could not in good conscience vote to accept this Washington gamesmanship, or vote to approve unrelated wastes of taxpayer dollars, while Iowa sees its COVID-19 case rates climbing and parts of my district become a national hotspot.” (Rep. Axne, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. ABBY FINKENAUER (D-IA): “The next federal COVID-19 relief package must be focused on helping families, workers, small businesses and local governments. It needs bipartisan buy-in, and should not be tied up with unrelated provisions. I came to Washington to get things done, and this legislation only serves to push real relief further down the road…. I’m tired of Washington playing politics with issues that demand our attention, solutions, and action. (Rep. Finkenauer, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. SHARICE DAVIDS (D-KS): “Solving these challenges will require members of Congress to work together on targeted relief that can become law and provide real help to those who are suffering. Unfortunately, the HEROES Act does not accomplish that goal … [T]he partisan nature and wide scope of this bill makes it doomed upon arrival in the Senate – only further delaying the aid that Kansans desperately need.” (Rep. Davids, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. XOCHITL TORRES SMALL (D-NM): “COVID-19–and rebuilding our economy in the wake of it—is the greatest challenge our country has faced in over a decade.  We need bipartisan solutions to overcome it. I will continue to fight for direct funding for states, local communities, and tribal governments, as well as hazard pay for our essential workers on the front lines. But over $1 trillion of this bill was spent elsewhere.  Hard times call for strong priorities, and Congress should put aside partisan politics to rebuild through smart infrastructure investments.” (Rep. Torres Small, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. KENDRA HORN (D-OK): “Messaging bills without bipartisan support are a disservice to the American people, especially during a time of crisis. This is not the time for partisan gamesmanship, this is the time to find common ground and deliver help where it is needed most. In response to COVID-19, our relief efforts must be targeted, timely, and transparent. The HEROES Act does not meet those standards. To deliver timely relief, we must put aside proposals that lack bipartisan public support and work to negotiate a legislative package that can pass both houses of Congress and earn the support of the White House…. I urge congressional leadership to put aside any desire to use this as a political opportunity and instead focus on getting results in a bipartisan and bicameral way.” (Rep. Horn, Press Release, 5/14/2020)

REP. CONOR LAMB (D-PA): “People in western Pennsylvania and all over the country have sacrificed a lot during this crisis. They expect us to put politics aside, work together, and focus on defeating the coronavirus. This bill is not focused, it was rushed to a vote too fast, and it doesn’t help us accomplish that core mission…. Partisan fights have never looked smaller. We need to go back to the negotiating table immediately and work on a bill that can actually pass and will actually help the people who desperately need it.” (Rep. Lamb, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): “The HEROES Act, however, appears to lack that same expansive bipartisan support of past Coronavirus relief packages. Moreover, I am concerned about supporting a $3 trillion bill that in my view does not do enough to provide direct and immediate assistance to struggling families and that will almost surely not proceed to a vote in the Senate or to any realistic negotiations with our colleagues across the aisle…. Now is the time to bring our nation together around solutions that will improve the lives of Americans who are hurting, not engage in partisan gamesmanship, and that’s why I will vote against this legislation.” (Rep. Wild, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. JOE CUNNINGHAM (D-SC):This is Washington politics at its worst. While South Carolina families, small business owners, and workers are struggling, now is not the time to advance a partisan wish list or refuse to come to the negotiating table. At a time when our country is in real trouble, we should not be spending precious time on one-sided solutions that aren’t going anywhere…. Now it is time for both sides to go back to the negotiating table and deliver bipartisan results …” (Rep. Cunningham, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. BEN McADAMS (D-UT):This isn’t a plan, it’s a wish-list. At a time when thousands of people are sick, millions are out of work, and small businesses face bankruptcy, we should be laser-focused on a strategy that opens up business and gets people back to work while also addressing the public health crisis caused by this virus. Republicans and Democrats need to come together on a plan to put this crisis behind us and not waste time with party politics.” (Rep. McAdams, Press Release, 5/15/2020)

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): “This $3 trillion package and the previous relief bills would double federal spending for this year and spending of this scale requires careful consideration and input from all members, not just one party…. Unfortunately, there are many elements of the bill that are unrelated to addressing Americans’ most immediate needs associated with COVID-19, which distract from addressing our most urgent priorities during this pandemic.” (Rep. Luria, Press Release, 5/16/2020)

REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): “Unfortunately, many Members of Congress — including some in my own party — have decided to use this package as an opportunity to make political statements and propose a bill that goes far beyond pandemic relief and has no chance at becoming law, further delaying the help so many need. Therefore, I will respectfully vote against this bill…. At this time, we must come together to build a targeted, timely relief package that avoids partisan posturing and instead prioritizes combatting our nationwide public health emergency, addressing catastrophic unemployment rates, and protecting the security of the next generation.” (Rep. Spanberger, Press Release, 5/15/2020)


Reporters Pointed Out Speaker Pelosi Passed ‘A Democratic Wish List Filled Up With All The Party’s Favored Policies,’ ‘More A Messaging Document Than A Viable Piece Of Legislation’

“SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI’S HOUSE is not officially coming back yet. They are waiting for the release of a new coronavirus bill, which will cost trillions of dollars. Neither this bill nor anything resembling it will ever become law -- it’s a Democratic wish list filled up with all the party’s favored policies.” (Politico’s Playbook, 5/11/2020)

“A divided House narrowly passed a $3 trillion pandemic relief package … advancing a proposal with no chance of becoming law over near-unanimous Republican opposition…. Even though the bill was more a messaging document than a viable piece of legislation, its fate was in doubt in the final hours before its passage.” (“House Passes $3 Trillion Aid Bill Over Republican Opposition,” The New York Times, 5/15/2020)

“… House Democratic leadership was engaged in what a few senior aides and lawmakers described as the most difficult arm-twisting of the entire congress: convincing their rank and file to vote for a $3 trillion stimulus bill that will never become law…. The bill was released earlier [the same] week. It’s not been through a single congressional committee. And it’s caught flak from both moderates and liberals in the caucus. It’s a messaging bill.” (Politico Playbook, 5/15/2020)

“It also includes a host of favored liberal provisions which have come under attack by Republicans and have little chance of surviving the coming negotiations.” (“House Passes Massive $3T Coronavirus Relief Package,” The Hill, 5/15/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19