White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday said Nancy Pelosi doesn’t actually want to pass a COVID-19 stimulus bill, citing the House speaker’s rejection of a centrist compromise.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that the House would remain in session until a deal passes, but McEnany noted that Democratic leaders denounced a proposal from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
“Everyone in DC seems to want to make a deal except Nancy Pelosi — she wants to play politics. Look at the letter she wrote condemning the Problem Solvers group proposal that was a $1.5 trillion plan,” McEnany said at a White House press briefing.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, comprised of 25 House Republicans and 25 Democrats including New York Reps. Max Rose and Tom Suozzi, this week proposed $500 billion in aid for state and local governments, about half what Democratic leaders want.
The centrist caucus’s $1.52 trillion proposal is “something that we would entertain and look at, but Nancy Pelosi immediately decried that proposal in a letter because she’s not interested in a deal,” McEnany said.
McEnany was referring to a statement from Democratic committee chairs under Pelosi’s control that said “the Problem Solvers’ proposal leaves too many needs unmet.”
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill directed The Post to a joint statement from Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer laying blame on “Senate Republicans insisting on shortchanging the massive needs of the American people.”
The White House jab at Pelosi follows President Trump’s tweeted encouragement for Republicans to “Go for the much higher numbers” of spending on stimulus because it “all comes back to the USA anyway.”
McEnany said Wednesday that Trump was referring to his desire for Republicans to include another round of direct stimulus checks in relief legislation.
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a “skinny” Republican stimulus bill costing about $500 billion, saying it didn’t do enough. That bill did not include direct payments.
The rejected Republican bill included a $300 weekly unemployment subsidy, $105 billion for schools, $20 billion for farmers, $10 billion for the US Postal Service and $10 billion for childcare assistance. It included $47 billion for vaccines and testing and $258 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which gives small businesses forgivable loans for retaining staff who aren’t needed due to reduced demand.