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NEW YORK, NY – A visibly irritated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer got down and dirty during a contentious interview earlier this week over the delayed financial stimulus package intended to assist those who have been financially impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During the interview, Blitzer began grilling Pelosi over the latest round of financial assistance that many Americans are in dire need of since the $600 of enhanced federal unemployment benefits ceased at the end of July. Democrats have attempted to craft new stimulus bills ever since but have been butting heads with Republicans over dollar amounts, with neither side any closer to passing any legislation to assist the record number of Americans who have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic.
According to the Labor Department, at least 25 million people were on jobless benefits at the end of September.
The Trump administration recently offered congress a $1.8 trillion package – that would have included $400 weekly unemployment payments and one-time $1,200 stimulus checks – that was subsequently rejected by Pelosi for not being enough, a move that was even criticized by some in her own party.
While being interviewed by the veteran CNN anchor on Tuesday, Pelosi grew frustrated when Blitzer brought up the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion package offer, and asked the Speaker why she wouldn’t accept it; Pelosi responded, telling Blitzer to ask Republicans “why they don’t want to meet the needs of the American people.”
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“But let me say to those people because all of my colleagues — we represent these people … and their needs are not addressed in the president’s proposal,” she said. “So when you say to me, ‘Why don’t you accept theirs?’ Why don’t they accept ours?”
Blitzer pointed out the dire financial woes that many Americans are facing, saying that people “really need the money now.” He also noted a Tweet put out by Congressman Ro Khanna – a fellow Democrat from Pelosi’s home state of California – that urged House members to consider the Trump administration’s offer.
“People in need can’t wait until February,” Khanna said in his Tweet. “$1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice the Obama stimulus…make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.”
When asked for her response to Khanna’s tweet, Pelosi instead accused Blitzer and others at CNN – a very left-leaning network – of being “apologists” for Republicans.
“What I say to you is I don’t know why you’re always an apologist…and many of your colleagues are apologists for the Republican position,” she said. “Ro Khanna, that’s nice, that isn’t what we’re going to do and nobody’s waiting until February.”
Blitzer continued to grill Pelosi for her refusal to accept the Trump package, with the Speaker pointing out that the spending priorities between Republicans and Democrats were drastically different.
The back-and-forth lasted until the end of the interview, where Pelosi admonished Blitzer one last time by saying, “We’ll leave it on the note that you’re not right on this, Wolf, and I hate to say that to you.”