Stimulus Bill 2: Trump Says Pelosi ‘Doesn’t Want’ to Pass a Relief Package

Getty Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

In the second presidential debate on October 22, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were asked about a second stimulus bill. Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, claiming she “does not want to approve it.”

For his part, Biden blamed Republicans in the U.S. Senate, saying that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the Republican votes to get it done.

The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News, opened up the line of questioning by saying that people “see Washington fighting over a relief bill. Mr. President, why haven’t you been able to get them the help?”

“Because Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it. I do,” Trump responded.

“But you’re the president,” said Welker. The U.S. Constitution gives funding authority to Congress, so Trump doesn’t have the authority to pass a stimulus package on his own. For weeks, his administration, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has been negotiating with Pelosi, but Senate Republicans have also voiced disagreement with the White House’s proposal for a $1.8 trillion plan. Senate Republican leadership prefers $500 billion, and Democrats want a $2.2 trillion plan. The relief plan would address everything from direct payments to extended unemployment benefits.

Here’s what you need to know:


Trump Accused Pelosi of Holding Up a Second Stimulus Plan to Score Points in the Presidential Election

GettyPresident Donald Trump.

Trump claimed that voters are displeased with Pelosi’s approach. “One of the reasons I think we will take over the House because of her,” he said. For her part, the House Speaker has repeatedly accused Republicans of not approving an amount that she says Americans need.

“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve anything because she’d love to have some victories on a date called November 3,” said Trump during the presidential debate. “Nancy Pelosi does not want to approve it. We are ready willing and able to do something … don’t forget we’ve already approved three plans. And it’s gone through including the Democrats in all fairness. This one she doesn’t want. It’s near the election because she thinks it helps her politically. I think it hurts her politically.”

Meanwhile, Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill wrote on Twitter on October 22:

The Speaker & Secretary Mnuchin spoke today at 2:30 pm for 48 minutes. Today’s conversation brings us closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation. With the exchange of legislative language, we are better prepared to reach compromise on several priorities. Differences continue to be narrowed on health priorities, including language providing a national strategic testing and contract tracing plan, but more work needs to be done to ensure that schools are the safest places in America for children to learn. The Speaker and Secretary plan to speak again tomorrow hopefully with further guidance from committee chairs as they work to resolve open questions.


Biden Blamed Republicans for the Impasse

GettyFormer vice presidential candidate and current 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden (left) and current President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection (right).

Biden turned the focus on Republicans in the U.S. Senate, who have balked at the higher amounts for a stimulus relief package.

Biden said the majority leader, McConnell, “said he can’t pass it. He will not be able to pass it. He does not have Republican votes. Why isn’t he talking to his Republican friends?”

The moderator asked why Biden hasn’t pushed the Democrats to get a deal for the American people, and he said he has pushed it.

Biden said, “They passed this act in the beginning of the summer. It’s not new … this Heroes Act has been sitting there, and look at what’s happening.”

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