Pelosi And Schumer Negotiate Against Each Other

Democratic Leaders Contradict Each Other On Whether They’re Willing To Compromise At All And Shut Down Rank-And-File Democrats Open To Compromise On Other Provisions


Sen. Schumer Claims Democrats Have Made A ‘Difficult Compromise’ Offer, But Speaker Pelosi Insists That Democrats Aren’t Actually Dropping Any Of Their Demands, They’re Just Offering To Shift Dates Around

SCHUMER: ‘It Was Difficult For Us To Offer That Compromise’

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “So, like in any normal negotiation, we offered to move in their direction if they would move in ours. Let’s meet in the middle, we said--in the middle. That is how negotiations occur. That is how you get something done. The White House said no. It was difficult for us to offer that compromise.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.5361, 8/10/2020)

  • SCHUMER: “But we’re willing to come down a trillion dollars and we’ll compromise and meet them halfway…. [T]hat’s what the American people should understand, that we’ve made a big offer, a huge offer. In an effort to get this thing going, we will cut that trillion …” (ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” 8/09/2020)

PELOSI: ‘It Doesn’t Mean That We Have Things In There That Would Cut Out … By Changing Some Of The Timing, We Can Come Down’

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)


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer And Rank-And-File Democrats Have Suggested They’re Open To Compromising On The Level Of Additional Federal Unemployment Benefits, But Schumer And Pelosi Are Saying It’s $600 Or Nothing

HOYER: ‘Look, It’s Not $600 Or Bust’

CNN’s JOHN BERMAN: “I just want to make sure I’m hearing you correctly. It does seem like you might be willing to come off some from $600. Not to $200, but you’re not demanding $600 or bust?”
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER (D-MD): “Look, it’s not $600 or bust. You know, you don’t -- Speaker Pelosi said the other day, which I thought was a great line, ‘we don’t have red lines, we have values.’ We are going in to these negotiations with values. To say that it’s $600 or nothing, no, that’s not where we are. We are prepared to discuss this.” (CNN’s “New Day,” 7/28/2020)

  • REP. HOYER: “I think there’s a legitimate concern that people are making more on unemployment with the $600 additional than they made in their employment and therefore are reluctant to go back…” (MSNBC, 7/13/2020)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “And, with that being said, they just used an arbitrary $600. In rural America and a lot of rural parts of this country, and in West Virginia too, $600, on top of an average of $300 or $320 of your weekly unemployment benefits, that’s $920, which is more than what most people have made in those -- in those positions before.” (Fox News, 8/04/2020)

  • SEN. MANCHIN: “I don’t think we’re going to stay at the $600.” (Fox News, 8/04/2020)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “But we need to extend the unemployment insurance benefits. What is the right number? Well, we certainly understand we don’t want to have higher benefits than what someone can make working, but that $600 was so desperately needed by so many families. So, let’s make sure that we do what’s right for those that are unemployed and for our economy.” (Fox News, 7/27/2020)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “Well, Steve, I’m not going to negotiate with you against what has already been passed by the Democratic majority in the House two months ago. I do think that finding some path forward between a … position of we won’t extend unemployment benefits at all, and the $600 a week, that 30 million Americans are relying on, we should had been doing this over the last couple of weeks that we’re now up against this deadline frankly is an irresponsible failure to lead by Republicans. I do think we should find some path forward that provides support for millions of Americans who are and will remain unemployed, while also providing incentives for folks to return to work.” (MSNBC, 7/24/2020)


PELOSI: ‘We Have Said That We Are Going To Have The $600’
SCHUMER: ‘$600 We Believe In … We Believe We Keep It’

QUESTION: “Did you guys reject their offer of $400 unemployment insurance?”
PELOSI: “We have said that we are going to have the $600. … They know we want the $600.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 8/06/2020)

PBS’ JUDY WOODRUFF: “So, are you coming closer together on that all-important federal unemployment benefits number?  Democrats were asking for $600 a week to continue, Republicans were saying $200.  Are you somewhere in between?  We were told maybe you’re –”
PELOSI: “No, there’s no in between.” (PBS’ NewsHour, 8/04/2020)

QUESTION: “And yesterday, you seemed to indicate some flexibility on the $600 figure that had been a demand of the Democrats.  What would be an appropriate replacement for that $600 figure if you were to reduce that a little bit?”
PELOSI: “No, I’m all for the $600.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 7/16/2020)

CNN’S JIM SCIUTTO: “You and other Democrats sticking to $600. White House, $200. Steny Hoyer has said it’s not $600 or nothing for Democrats.  I wonder if you agree.  Are you willing to negotiate on that figure?”
PELOSI: “No...” (CNN, 8/03/2020)

PELOSI: “I’m all for the $600 because people really need it…  But I go to the table with the commitment to the $600.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 7/23/2020)

SCHUMER: “We’re at the $600.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 8/06/2020)

QUESTION: “Today, Leader Hoyer seemed to suggest that $600 was a negotiable amount of money and I'm just wondering where you and Speaker Pelosi stand—”
SCHUMER: “We don't believe that…. [B]ut $600 we believe in these--in the HEROES Bill, extend it till January 31st…. We believe we keep it.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 7/28/2020)


A Number Of Congressional Democrats Have Signaled Support For Liability Protections Against Frivolous Coronavirus Lawsuits, But Schumer And Pelosi Have Outright Rejected Liability Protections

SEN. JONES: ‘I Think We Have To Be Very Careful In Protecting Businesses…. I Think We Can Find An Appropriate Balance If It Doesn’t Get Into Partisan Politics’

“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he would support liability protection for small, privately owned businesses. ‘These smaller businesses we have to be very careful how we protect them,’ he said. Asked if small businesses should get liability protection, Manchin said: ‘I’m looking at that.’ ‘If I can help smaller businesses, I will,’ he added.” (“Democratic Unity Starts To Crack In Coronavirus Liability Reform Fight,” The Hill, 5/27/2020)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “I don’t support a path forward where we don’t offer clear regulatory guidance and don’t offer liability protection for workers.” (“Democratic Unity Starts To Crack In Coronavirus Liability Reform Fight,” The Hill, 5/27/2020)

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): “We got to have a balance on some things. I’m not going to give a blank check and blanket immunity to somebody. At the same time, I think we have to be very careful in protecting businesses…. I think we can find an appropriate balance if it doesn’t get into partisan politics. I hope we can figure it out.” (“Democratic Unity Starts To Crack In Coronavirus Liability Reform Fight,” The Hill, 5/27/2020)

“Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) … said liability reform is ‘an issue that interests me.’ ‘In the earlier days on class-action reform and asbestos litigation reform, which are first cousins to this issue, I was always interested in seeing if there’s a principled middle ground, and I’m sure my staff and I will be involved,’ he said.” (“Democratic Unity Starts To Crack In Coronavirus Liability Reform Fight,” The Hill, 5/27/2020)


SCHUMER: ‘Not At All. It Is So Extreme’

MSNBC’s CHRIS HAYES: “[I]s the liability protection language acceptable to you?”
SCHUMER: “Not at all. It is so extreme.” (MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” 7/28/2020)

QUESTION: “ … does that make you more open to liability protections on a next relief bill?”
PELOSI:  “No…. [D]on’t say, ‘You all have to go back to work even if it isn’t safe.  And by the way, we are removing all responsibility from the employer.’  I mean, that is just – no.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 7/09/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19, Senate Democrats, Economy