Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that “of course there’s room for compromise” on the now-expired $600-per-week unemployment benefit Democrats have advocated keeping.
CNN’s Dana Bash pressed Pelosi on why Democrats have not agreed to a compromise between the previous $600 a week and the Republicans’ proposal of $200 per week in extra benefits.
“Would you do $400 extra?” Bash asked before Pelosi cut in and said, “I’m not negotiating that right here. It depends on what else is in the bill.”
Weeks of negotiations on the next coronavirus relief bill between Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stalled late last week. That prompted President Trump to issue four executive orders, one of which lowered the unemployment benefit to $400 a week, forced states to pay 25 percent and extended it through the end of the year.
Pelosi criticized the Republicans’ proposal for offering a limited amount of funding for food and no funding for elections, among other issues. Republicans, meanwhile, blamed Democrats for refusing to compromise.
Bash counteredm “I understand that you don’t want to negotiate with me, but my question is, are Republicans right when they say you will not come off of your $600 number, you will not come off of other figures, other policy initiatives that you want?”
“No, that’s not why we’re in stalemate,” Pelosi responded. “We’re in stalemate because the Republicans have from the start never understood the gravity of the situation we are in.”
Bash then pushed, saying, “Right now, they have nothing, as you well know, because those things expired.”
“Well, what do you think they get out of a $250,000 food designation in the Republican plan? In other words, you’re acting as if there’s some great big thing they’re proposing,” Pelosi said.
Bash said, “No, I’m asking if there’s room for compromise on your end.”
“Of course there’s room for compromise, but you have to see the entire package,” Pelosi said.