Senate Republicans see putting pressure on Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the key to getting a deal o…
Senate Republicans see putting pressure on Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnellSunday shows – Trump team defends coronavirus responseGOP chair defends Trump messaging on masks: ‘To say that he should have known then what we know now isn’t really fair’MORE (D-Calif.) as the key to getting a deal on a coronavirus relief bill before the election and are counting on vulnerable House Democrats to move the House Speaker off her demand for a package costing more than $2 trillion.
GOP lawmakers say last weeks procedural vote to advance a $500 billion to $700 billion relief plan which all but one Republican senator supported and all Democrats opposed was designed to give political cover to their vulnerable incumbents and put House Democrats on the defensive.
A Republican senator familiar with party strategy said the focus of last weeks vote was Pelosi, much more than Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSunday shows – Trump team defends coronavirus responseEconomist Moore calls on Pelosi, Schumer to ‘get a deal done’ amid stimulus stalemateMcConnell: Chance for coronavirus deal ‘doesn’t look that good right now’MORE (D-N.Y.), who doesnt have to worry much about protecting vulnerable colleagues.
The question is does this force Pelosi to listen to her 20 members in districts where the Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Democrat, said the lawmaker.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce circulated a memo earlier this month stating its intention to endorse 23 first-term House Democrats.
Schumers not pressured at all. This is all on Pelosi. Pelosis running the show, the senator added, noting that 117 House Democrats signed a letter to Pelosi last month asking her to take up the Worker Relief and Security Act.
The bill would extend $600-a-week federal unemployment assistance for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and adjust the weekly federal unemployment compensation amount and available benefit weeks on state unemployment rates.
If she gets more and more pressure from those folks, she may then be forced to meet with Mnuchin, the GOP senator said.
Republican leaders think if moderate House Democrats stew a little longer, Pelosi will be more willing to cut a deal.
Pelosi on Friday afternoon said she remains optimistic about getting a deal, despite growing skepticism among other lawmakers.
Im completely optimistic, she insisted in an interview with CNNs Wolf Blitzer. Im optimistic. I do think we should have an agreement, thats what we all want.
But she reiterated she would oppose one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCrowd aims ‘lock him up’ chant at Obama during Trump rallyNevada governor: Trump ‘taking reckless and selfish actions’ in holding rallyMichigan lieutenant governor blasts Trump coronavirus response: He ‘is a liar who has killed people’MOREs top priorities, $1,200 rebate checks to Americans earning up to $75,000, unless food assistance and eviction protection are part of the deal.
Trump has joined the pressure campaign. On Friday, he accused Pelosi of holding up the stimulus deal in order to bail out blue states.
Pelosi and Schumer want Trillions of Dollars of BAILOUT money for Blue States that are doing badly, both economically and in terms of high crime, as a condition to making a deal on stimulus – But the USA is coming back strong! he tweeted.
Pelosi quickly dismissed the salvo as pathetic.
In recent weeks, when Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBattle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategyOvernight Health Care: McConnell: Chance for coronavirus deal ‘doesn’t look that good right now’ | Fauci disagrees with Trump that US rounding ‘final turn’ on pandemic | NIH director ‘disheartened’ by lack of masks at Trump rallyMcConnell: Chance for coronavirus deal ‘doesn’t look that good right now’MORE has reached out to Democratic leaders in an effort to resume negotiations, its been Pelosi who has responded.
Pelosi has told Mnuchin, the lead White House negotiator, several times that the White House must be willing to accept a package of more than $2 trillion for Democrats to negotiate further.
We said we would be willing to go down to $2.2 trillion, she said earlier this month.
On Thursday she said she thought that Mnuchin would agree to spend considerably more than the $1.1 trillion spending limit that he and Senate Republicans agreed to in July.
Mnuchin floated $1.5 trillion as a possible number at a House hearing earlier this month.
Senate Republican aides have focused their talking points on Pelosi, highlighting the comments of moderate Democrats who express growing anxiety over the lack of a deal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnellBattle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategyEconomist Moore calls on Pelosi, Schumer to ‘get a deal done’ amid stimulus stalemateMOREs (R-Ky.) office on Friday circulated a report of a conference call Pelosi and Schumer held Thursday in an effort to sooth the anxieties of House Democrats who are impatient to get a deal.
Pelosi on Thursday pushed back against the notion that 52 Senate Republicans voting for a pared-down coronavirus relief bill puts more pressure on her. The legislation failed to advance because it fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
She said the Republican bill fell far short of what the nation needs to recover from the pandemic.
I think that McConnell is being his cynical self by saying, I’ll just put something on there. Itll look like we’re trying to do something, while we ignore the needs of the American people,’ she said.
She dismissed the vote as a merely a tactic to check the box with voters.
Republicans see Schumer as less susceptible to pressure because Senate Democrats only have to defend 12 seats in November, and none of those incumbents are in toss-up races.
The two most endangered Senate Democrats are Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersCongress needs to finalize space weather bill as solar storms pose heightened threat Senate panel to vote next week on authorizing subpoenas for Biden, Obama-era probesHillicon Valley: Russia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of electionMORE (Mich.). Jones is already trailing badly in the polls while Peters is viewed as a favorite to win in what the non-partisan Cook Political Report rates as a lean Democrat race.
Despite the pressure campaign on Pelosi, Republican leaders are uncertain it will work, given the personal animosity between Trump and the Speaker.
Trump routinely disparages Pelosi as crazy while Pelosi has called the president immoral, unethical, corrupt and unpatriotic and spearheaded his impeachment in the House last year.
Pelosi on Friday said she doesnt speak directly with Trump because I find no reason to.
Theres no, shall we say, validity to whatever he says, she said.
McConnell on Friday conceded he is growing pessimistic about a breakthrough.
I wish I could tell you we were going to get another package but it doesnt look that good right now, he told constituents in Kentucky.
Adding to the sense of pessimism on Capitol Hill is the memory of the 35-day government shutdown at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. Relations between Trump and Pelosi were so sour during the impasse that a special bipartisan committee of Senate and House members had to step in to negotiate a solution.
Some lawmakers, however, think the failed Senate Republican bill clears the way for a new round of talks.
This is the McConnell script that weve seen several times before a take-it-or-leave-it bill on the Republican side, claiming bipartisanship that goes down. Thats usually when negotiations begin, said Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinBattle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategyGOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after electionSenate Democrats introduce bill to sanction Russians over Taliban bountiesMORE (Ill.).