House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s willing to negotiate with Republicans on the next coronavirus stimulus package, but on the provision for food-insecure families, she is not likely to budge. Appearing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, the congresswoman from California said repeatedly that the $250,000 that Republicans have deemed adequate for addressing hunger in our country is simply not enough.
“We’ve got to meet halfway. We’ve got to do the best we can for the American people. But what they’re putting forth does not meet that standard,” Pelosi told both CNN’s Dana Bash and Fox’s Wallace.
Pelosi’s appearance came on the heels of Trump’s executive action, which he suggested gave unemployed workers an extension on benefits and put a moratorium on evictions, among other actions. The fine print of the executive order suggests otherwise, in addition to the fact that both Republicans and Democrats are questioning the constitutionality of the order. Though Trump claimed his show from his golf course in New Jersey was triggered by Congress’s inability to act, Pelosi maintained that Democrats are willing to talk as long as the GOP can bring something worthwhile to the table.
“We said we will come down a trillion, not that we cut out any of our priorities, but we shorten the length of time in which they would be in effect,” Pelosi told Bash. “And next year we can extend them again. And they could add something.”
The HEROES Act, which was approved by House Democrats in May, comes with a $3 trillion dollar price tag. The HEALS Act, authored by Republicans and released late last month, gives government aid to the tune of $1 trillion. Pelosi’s suggestion would mean that the two parties negotiate to meet in the middle—on certain provisions. Because while Democrats proposed roughly $60 billion to help with food insecurity throughout the U.S., Pelosi claims Republicans want to offer $250,000 to help feed all of America’s hungry population.
“There’s a long way for us to come together,” Pelosi insisted. “But we will come down a trillion, you go up a trillion, we will find our common ground here. Let’s go to the table. But we can’t accept what they have there.”
The two parties will likely go back to the negotiating table this week to ensure that a stimulus agreement can be reached in the next few weeks. Until then unemployment benefits, evictions and state funding remain in jeopardy.