Remarks at Media Availability with Leader Schumer Following Meeting with Trump Administration on Coronavirus Relief Legislation

August 3, 2020
Press Release

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:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good afternoon, everyone. 

We just left a two hour meeting with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows.  It was productive.  We are moving down the track.  We still have our differences.  We are trying to have clearer understanding of what the needs are.

The needs are this: that millions of children in our country are food insecure, millions of people in our country are concerned about being evicted, tens of millions of people are on Unemployment Insurance.  The way that we can prevent so much of that is for us to defeat the virus. 

Because much of our discussion has to be on how we defeat the virus, and that takes dollars and policy.  And I think that we’ve had good sessions, understanding where we need to go.  As the Leader says all the time, understanding the gravity of the situation.

The virus is the villain.  We can open our economy.  We can open our schools, but we can only do it if our children and our families are safe.  And opening our schools is a place where we spent a good deal of time. 

Mr. Leader.

Leader Schumer.  Yeah.  Again, we are really getting an understanding of each side’s position and we’re making some progress on certain issues moving closer together.  There are a lot of issues that are still outstanding, but I think there is a desire to get something done as soon as we can, and so we continue to work, the staffs will be working.

What we did today, to give you a little flavor of it is we went through the numbers in the proposal that the Senate put forth and the proposal that we had.  How many children can you feed with this amount of dollars for how long?  How many schools can you protect with this amount of dollars so that they can open up when?

And you know, our proposals, obviously, are a lot more generous than theirs.  And that’s because, as the Speaker said, this the greatest problem we have faced in 100 years on the health front, the greatest problem we have faced in 75 years on the economic front and we think we need a much fuller, stronger response by the federal government to get out of this mess if – and to get out of this serious crisis. 

If we don’t have that response, it’ll take longer, more people will stay unemployed for a longer amount of time, more businesses will close, et cetera.

So, but by going through the specific numbers and what each side thinks they can do with their dollar allocation, it really helps us understand that and move together in a better direction and that’s what we spent time doing.

Thank you.

[Crosstalk]

Q:  Have you made any, any progress on unemployment?

Leader Schumer.  They’re sticking to their position.

Q:  Are you guys meeting again tomorrow?

Speaker Pelosi.  We’re sticking to ours.

[Laughter]

Q:  Are you guys meeting again tomorrow?

Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.

Leader Schumer.  Yes.

Speaker Pelosi.  Staff will be meeting overnight, and we’ll be meeting tomorrow.

Q:  Are you still in the same part on food stamps, the 15 versus the 75 or is that narrowed?  

Speaker Pelosi.  It’s under discussion.  It’s under discussion. 

Q:  Will you consider a short term bill to deal with PPP?

Speaker Pelosi.  No short term bill.  Forget that.

Q:  To deal with PPP?

Speaker Pelosi.  There is no short term bill.  Okay?  Do you want the answer or do you want to have a conversation?