House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy harshly criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her negotiating position on COVID relief, saying the Democrats’ plan “mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs.”
Watch McCarthy’s remarks in the player above.
“There are so many problems with the Democratic bill, why it’s gone nowhere,” McCarthy said.
“Could she not see past politics for once?” he asked rhetorically.
The White House is backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and is dangling the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill of $1.6 trillion as last-ditch, pre-election negotiations hit a critical phase Thursday.
But pessimism is again seeping into the talks and the two sides switched back to attacking each other in public.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi were expected to talk by phone early Thursday afternoon, but the speaker was publicly dismissive of the latest White House plan.
Pelosi postponed debate Wednesday on a Democratic alternative measure in hopes of getting an agreement.
A vote is likely on Thursday, spokesman Drew Hammill said, depending on how the Mnuchin-Pelosi exchanges go.
McCarthy also said he thought President Donald Trump won Tuesday night’s presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The first of three scheduled debates between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos Tuesday night as the Republican president repeatedly interrupted his Democratic rival with angry jabs that overshadowed any substantive discussion of the crises threatening the nation.
McCarthy’s advice to Trump was to let Biden talk more.
“I think the more he talks, the more the American public would decide they don’t want Joe Biden,” he said.