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An unimpressed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ripped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her “political stunt” of claiming in a letter released to the media that she is “still awaiting” a reply from the White House on stalled coronavirus stimulus talks.
With the election four days away, Pelosi appears to be exploiting the needs of many Americans to engage in a little electioneering — those paying attention knowing full well that the speaker is holding up any pandemic relief.
Congress isn’t set to return to Washington until after the election, and Mnuchin said in response that Pelosi “sent [the letter] to my office at midnight and simultaneously released it to the press, I can unfortunately only conclude that it was a political stunt.”
Insisting he has “dedicated endless hours trying to reach a compromise,” he charged that the Democratic leader has “refused,” noting that she even “rebuffed” a bipartisan effort to address differences.
I woke up this morning and read @SpeakerPelosi’s letter to me in the press. Enclosed is my response. Her ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW! pic.twitter.com/tarhPwYmkv
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) October 29, 2020
“I have spoken with you almost every day for the last 45 days in an attempt to reach a serious bipartisan compromise that would benefit the hard-working Americans who have been impacted by COVID-19,” Mnuchin wrote. “Because your letter to me inaccurately describes the status of our current negotiations, I feel obliged to publicly respond.”
He hit Pelosi for opposing stand-alone bills addressing airline relief, small business loans and direct payments to the American people.
“While you accuse the Administration of holding up negotiations, you refuse to bring to the floor of the House stand-alone legislation to support Airline workers, additional Paycheck Protection Program payments to small businesses, and additional Direct Payments that we can fund using already approved money that we have not spent,” he said.
“Your ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW,” Mnuchin added.
In her letter, Pelosi tried to paint herself as being eager to “continue discussions” on reaching a deal.
“Your responses are critical for our negotiations to continue,” the speaker wrote.
Pelosi capitalized on President Trump trying to put a positive spin on stalled talks, promising this week that they will get the “best” deal ever when Congress returns, to suggest that Republicans are holding up progress.
“The President’s words that ‘after the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen’ only have meaning if he can get [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell to take his hand off the pause button and get Senate Republican Chairmen moving toward agreement with their House counterparts.”
At last week’s debate, the president clued the American people in on what the real hold up was.
“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it. I do,” he said. “It’s near the election, because she thinks it helps her politically. I think it hurts her politically.”
The idea of voters receiving $1,200 stimulus checks with Trump’s name plastered on them before Election Day is clearly not something Democrats have an appetite for.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, responded to Mnuchin’s letter in a tweet, calling it “a truth bomb response to Pelosi.”
Steve Mnuchin with the truth bomb response to Pelosi. https://t.co/DfCt4sv2l4
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) October 30, 2020
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Mnuchin grills Pelosi for refusing to bring up standalone $$$ for airline workers, small businesses, and stimulus checks. He’s 100% right.
These are badly needed, hugely popular programs that could be approved within days if Democrats would agree. They’ve refused. End of story. https://t.co/wMbBw23uiY
— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) October 29, 2020
The Treasury cannot create legislation. They can only administer the funding as enacted by the Congress. Steve can do nothing without Nancy agreeing to help.
“Bickering and posturing” might seem ineffective and even juvenile but so does “all of nothing” stonewalling.
— Tom McCaffrey (@TomwithaDream) October 30, 2020
— Howard Steele (@HowardSteele5) October 30, 2020
Pelosi is a prime reason we need term limits
— Woody (@woodysalaskan) October 30, 2020
Pelosi needs to go. We need a stand alone bill that helps American workers & the unemployed in need. All this extra fluff about bailing out poorly run states can be addressed another time. It’s pivotal to keep the economy afloat, or we will have even more unemployed. Get to work!
— JustDan (@justdan_again) October 30, 2020
Nancy never had any intentions of making a deal. It’s been politics from the start, people be damned.
— Dennis Gould (@Dgould45) October 30, 2020
— david (@1stStateTarHeel) October 30, 2020
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