Pelosi Defends Rejection of White House’s $1.8 Trillion Package, Supporting Smaller One

December 4, 2020 Updated: December 4, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said she wants to attach a CCP virus bill to a spending package to avoid a government shutdown later in the month.

“That would be a hope, because that is the vehicle leaving the station,” Pelosi said in a news conference. “We would want a big, strong vote.”

Pelosi, in reference to a $900 billion bipartisan stimulus proposal, said that it shows “momentum.” She added: “The tone of our conversations is one that is indicative of the decision to get the job done.”

It came after talks between Pelosi and the White House remained at a standstill for months. The Trump administration offered as much as $1.9 trillion while Pelosi and her caucus sought at least $2.2 trillion. President Donald Trump said Pelosi would not agree to a stimulus deal compromise because it would potentially benefit his reelection chances.

When she was asked about why she would agree to a deal now, Pelosi responded that her insistence for a $2.2 trillion measure produced results.

She said, “It was not a mistake. It was a decision that has taken us to a place where we can do the right things without other, shall we say, considerations, in the legislation that we don’t want. I’m very proud of where we are.”

On Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg News that it’s not clear what will happen in the near future.

“I can’t say one way or the other what the outcome’s going to be,” he said, while noting that $160 billion proposed under the bipartisan package to state and local governments might not receive much GOP support.

“Senator McConnell has indicated that he’s not happy with that part of the bipartisan group” proposal, Kudlow told the news outlet.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) both criticized the proposal for not including direct stimulus payments to individuals. Ocasio-Cortez noted that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also supports the direct payments.

“I will gladly work w/ @AOC and anyone else who wants to help working families. Families and working people in need should be the FIRST consideration in COVID relief, not last,” Hawley wrote on Twitter in response.