Pelosi Claims Trump to blame for cratering economy

WashingtonExaminer reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters President Trump is responsible for the nation’s sharp economic downturn that has come in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, offered the criticism after telling reporters she is negotiating with Republicans and Trump administration officials on an urgently needed small-business aid package Democrats are blocking. Pelosi said she is awaiting a compromise offer from the GOP that could come as early as Thursday afternoon.

Pelosi has come under intense criticism from Republicans for refusing to agree to a bill that would replenish a now-depleted federal aid program that has been helping small businesses stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi turned the blame on Trump, arguing he is responsible for the sharp economic downturn, which has wiped out years of economic and employment gains in a matter of weeks due to the stay-at-home and closure orders by state and local governments.

“The truth is, because of the incompetent reaction to this health crisis, the strong economy handed to Donald Trump is now a disaster, causing the suffering of countless Americans and endangering lives,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also called Trump “weak” and “a poor leader who takes no responsibility.”

Pelosi said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, should “show respect to the facts” as the two sides negotiate to pass the small-business package.

The Treasury Department on Thursday announced a $350 billion program to keep small businesses from shuttering has run out of funds.

Democrats last week blocked a $250 billion bill to replenish the program and instead introduced their own bill that would have fenced off half the funding for underserved small businesses. Democrats are also seeking an additional $100 billion for medical facilities and $150 billion for state and local governments.

“The first meeting occurred yesterday, a second meeting this afternoon, so we’re hopeful that they will come back with something that strikes a balance in what we know we need to do,” Pelosi said in a weekly press conference conducted by conference call. “We don’t have any disagreements about wanting to help small businesses.”

Republicans are opposed to the changes sought by Democrats, arguing the governments and hospitals received funding in the $2.2 trillion economic aid package signed into law on March 28, and that funding remains available.

While Pelosi is not publicly relenting on her demands, she suggested Thursday she’s open to a compromise.

“Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate,” Pelosi said. “That’s what we do as legislators, and we hope that the administration will recognize those needs and not deprive state and local, as well as hospitals, as well as small businesses, [to] have every opportunity to meet the needs of the people we serve.”

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