House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her last weekly press conference of the 2020 congressional session and blast Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “obstruction” in President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks.
Watch Pelosi speak in the player above.
McConnell is proposing an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appears destined to fail.
The roadblock mounted by Senate Republicans appears unsurmountable, even as pressure builds to approve the bigger checks.
Trump wants the Republican-led chamber to follow the House and increase the checks from $600 for millions of Americans.
Trump has berated Republican leaders for the stonewalling, finding rare common cause with the Democrats pushing them to act.
Leading Republicans warned that the GOP’s refusal to provide more aid as the virus worsens will jeopardize next week’s Senate election in Georgia.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her weekly press conference said, “These Republicans in the Senate seem to have an endless tolerance for other people’s sadness.”
During the Speakers press conference Pelosi was asked about being reelected House Speaker when the new Congress convenes Sunday.
It could take a high-wire act for her to get there, largely thanks to the pandemic.
The only woman in history to serve as speaker, the California Democrat has a reputation as a formidable vote-counter and wily deal-cutter.
Those skills have helped her fend off threats and cement her as leader of her party in the House since 2003, and seem likely to carry the day on Jan. 3, when the Constitution requires the new Congress to begin.
“Yeah, I do,” Pelosi told a reporter when asked if she had the votes wrapped up.
Also, Pelosi said “yes” when asked whether Marinette Miller-Meeks will be sworn in with other members of the House on Sunday.
Miller-Meeks an Iowa Republican will take office while they review her opponent’s contest claiming the six-vote race was wrongly decided, Pelosi said Wednesday.
Pelosi opened her weekly news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill by extending “great sympathy” to the congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family and pushing for greater efforts to end the pandemic.
The death of Louisiana’s newest Republican member of the U.S. House from complications related to COVID-19 stunned the state’s political circles and offered the latest brutal reminder of the risks of the coronavirus. He was 41.
The Democratic leader said Letlow’s COVID-related death could “happen to anyone – and it has happened to nearly 350,000 Americans.”
“Many of those deaths could have been avoided,” she said. Pelosi added: “We must make sure that we are scientific and determined to crush the virus.”
Pelosi also responded questions about Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who says he will raise objections next week when the Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the election, forcing House and Senate votes that are likely to delay – but in no way alter – the final certification of Biden’s win.
Without giving specifics or evidence, Hawley said he would object because “some states, including notably Pennsylvania” did not follow their own election laws. Lawsuits challenging Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania have been unsuccessful.
Pelosi said, “I have no doubt that on next Wednesday, a week from today, that Joe Biden will be confirmed by the acceptance of the vote of the electoral college as the 46th president of the United States.”