Remarks at Media Availability with Leader Schumer Following Meeting with Trump Administration on Coronavirus Relief Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer held a media availability after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to discuss further coronavirus relief legislation. Below is a full transcript:
Leader Schumer. Well, we had a long discussion and we just don’t think they understand the gravity of the problem. The bottom line is this is the most serious health problem and economic problem we’ve had in a very – in a century and in 75 years. And it takes really good, strong, bold action. And they don’t quite get that.
Speaker Pelosi. Yes.
Ten weeks ago, we passed The Heroes Act. At that time, we saw a serious crisis in our country, which we had worked together for four bills before that to take them from where they were to a better place and to address this.
The big issue that we have to do is to end this virus in order to open the economy, open our schools and thrive and go forward. They never have understood the gravity of it. And since the – since the Heroes Act passed about 70,000 people have died, hundreds of thousands more have been infected and they wanted a ‘pause.’ And now they come back with piecemeal.
So, it just says, because of their delay, they do not understand, as the Leader said, the gravity of the situation. And they – and the suggestions that they are making are only proof that they don’t understand the gravity of the situation.
Leader Schumer. Two more things: they delayed for so long and put us right at the cliff. Right now – right now, lots of people aren’t getting unemployment because they waited for ten weeks.
But let me just say one more thing. On COVID-2, COVID-3 and COVID-3.5 they also tried to do a very skimpy bill that didn’t meet the needs. We said no and, eventually, the need to act because of the seriousness of the crisis and the public pressure moved them. And we are hopeful that will happen. Because right now, they don’t get how serious the problem is.
Did they – did we have a good discussion? Yes. Will we continue to discuss? Yes. Do we want to continue to come to an agreement? Absolutely. But it’s got to meet the gravity of the problem.
Q: Can you describe what they brought? Meadows said he brought two –
Leader Schumer. No. No.
Q: Did they give you anything more? Did they offer any temporary, one week extension?
Speaker Pelosi. What is a one week extension good for? The one week extension is good if you have a bill, and you’re working it out, the details, the writing of it, leg – legislative counsel, the Congressional Budget Office, Rules Committee. That’s what a one week extension is about.
That – it’s worthless. It’s worthless unless you are using it for a purpose.
Leader Schumer. It’s already – already people have been dropped off unemployment. And there are lots of crises. There’s the unemployment crisis. There’s the housing crisis. There’s the state and local government crisis. There’s the treatment, where people are waiting weeks for treatment, days and weeks for treatment. We’ve got to solve this.
Speaker Pelosi. There’s a food crisis.
Leader Schumer. They want to do one small thing that won’t solve the problem and say, ‘Not us.’
Speaker Pelosi. They don’t even want to solve this. They don’t even want to address it fully.
Leader Schumer. Yeah. Right. The thing that’s on the Floor – by the way, the Senate is in such a knot. I hope you got this. They did a vote today, but they did it on a shell bill. They couldn’t put anything in it. That’s why they didn’t file cloture. They have no bill to put on the Floor.
Q: Did you make progress on anything?
Leader Schumer. We discussed parameters.
Speaker Pelosi. And that we would – I think they understand that we have to have a bill, but they just don’t realize how big it has to be.
Leader Schumer. And how broad it has to be. You know, they want to take – they think it’s a little negotiation, ‘You take one. We’ll take one.’ There’s a huge problem here. Huge.
Q: So, you’ll keep talking?
Speaker Pelosi. Yes, we will.
Leader Schumer. We’ll keep talking. We’ll talk tomorrow on the phone, I think.
Speaker Pelosi. We’ll talk. We’ll keep talking. Thank you.
Leader Schumer. Okay. Alright.