House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is "rebounding from a terrible mistake" in response to Trump's new offer to sign stand alone coronavirus stimulus check legislation after ending negotiations for a more expansive relief package Tuesday.
"It's hard to see any clear sane path on what he's doing but the fact is he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations ... He's rebounding from a terrible mistake he made yesterday and the Republicans in Congress are going down the drain with him on that," Pelosi said on ABC's "The View."
"But I will say this, it is really important for us to come to this agreement. When the President just popped off and made that announcement without even informing us, that was the case. He insulted the Constitution of the United States."
Pelosi accused President Trump of "putting himself first at the expense of the country" in a statement released after Trump ended negotiations over the coronavirus relief package.
"Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus, as is required by the Heroes Act," Pelosi said Tuesday. "He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes – in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others – and he refuses to put money in workers' pockets, unless his name is printed on the check."
"At the same time, the President is abandoning meeting the needs of our children as they adjust to learning in-person, virtual or hybrid. Instead, Trump is wedded to his $150 billion tax cut for the wealthiest people in America from the CARES Act, while he refuses to give real help to poor children, the unemployed and America's hard working families."
Trump ended GOP negotiations with House Democrats Tuesday after both sides could not agree on how much to spend in a coronavirus relief bill. Politico's Jake Sherman reports that the two sides were "roughly $1 trillion" apart, with Democrats demanding a $2 trillion bill and Republicans unwilling to spend more than $1.5 trillion.
Dynamics never changed, no matter how many times STEVEN MNUCHIN huddled with PELOSI. Senate Majority Leader MITCH… https://t.co/t3D40aqSvf— Jake Sherman (@Jake Sherman) 1602071277.0
The Democrats' stimulus bill, titled the "HEROES Act," would send middle and low-income Americans another $1,200 stimulus check to taxpayers that qualify and $500 per dependent. It would also reinstate a $600 federal unemployment benefit that expired in July through January 2021 — a policy Republicans criticized for paying some Americans more than they would make for returning to their jobs.
Also, the bill features a $436 billion bailout for states and cities facing budget shortfalls, a bailout for the airline industry, $225 billion for education and $57 billion for child care, as well as funding for election security, the U.S. Postal Service, worker safety, food security, and coronavirus testing, tracing, and treatment, Forbes reports.
In his tweet announcing the end of negotiations, Trump criticized the bailout for state budget shortfalls as "money that is in no way related to COVID-19," and accused Pelosi of refusing to negotiate in good faith.
In her statement, Pelosi defended the additional spending, arguing "even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste."
Late Tuesday night, Trump offered to sign a stand alone stimulus check bill "immediately" providing another round of $1,200 checks to Americans.
Pelosi has previously opposed narrow stimulus packages. In August, she rejected a coronavirus relief bill supported by more than 100 House Democrats that would have reinstated the $600 weekly unemployment benefit.