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Former Washington Journalist
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clearly pinned blame on Republicans for a failure thus far of negotiations to produce a new economic stimulus package, which is a goal both sides say that they want.
Lawmakers want to pass another bill to prop up a US economy sagging under the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed since the initial stay-at-home orders and lockdown conditions were put into place earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the virus continues to ravage the nation, with more than 5 million cases of COVID-19 reported in the United States, including more than 163,000 deaths.
But both sides say that they are far apart in talks for another stimulus round. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has even said that if a deal is struck he might have to rely on Democratic votes to pass it over the objections of his own Republicans.
“As you can see the Democrats in the Congress are unified in our commitment, values based commitment to America’s working families. At the same time, the Republicans are in disarray. Probably half of them won’t vote for anything, not one dollar,” Pelosi said. “I always see everything as you know through the eyes of the children. And through the eyes of the children, this is what we see and say to the Republicans, don’t nickel and dime our children. Don’t say we want to give a tax break to a business lunch and not give more money for children to have food stamps and the rest.
“Don’t talk about saying that if they go to school, only if school is open will we put federal dollars there. No, we have on authority and documented that to virtual actual and hybrid for education is approximately the same within range of the same cost,” she added. “So why should you demand that our children take a risk in a community of high incidents of the infection that they have to go to school in order to get federal dollars? Families — millions of children–are food insecure. That’s why we make such an issue of how can they possibly — what did we have?”
Pelosi specifically mentioned the need to keep children in this country fed and with a roof over their heads.
“Over $60 billion for food in one way or another whether it was women, infant children, whether it’s one form of food nutrition or another, including food stamps. … They’re nickel and diming us,” she said.
“And, then, when you talk about children and families who are in fear of eviction. This means a great deal to children that are insecure about their housing. Some of them will become homeless because the Republicans are nickel and diming our children. These families are crying out for the $600, they’re nickel and diming the economic security of children’s families,” Pelosi added, referring to the $600 per week federal unemployment compensation benefit which expired at the end of July.
“The list goes on and on. We are saying in our bill children learning, parents earning. If we want parents to be able to go back to work, we need children to be going to school safely,” she said. “And if they can’t and parents have to work, we want them to have child care in a significant way. Don’t nickel and dime us, our children on the child care issue either.”
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