Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined Jake Tapper Sunday morning to discuss the stalled HEROES Act, which has been sitting for over 100 days, a lack of funding for the United States Postal Service, COVID deaths and who exactly can and should take the blame.
She did not pull any punches. The White House is to blame for the stalled talks about funding the USPS, Mitch McConnell is to blame for not taking the HEROES Act to the floor of the GOP controlled Senate for over 100 days and Donald Trump owns the tens of thousands of preventable deaths due to his disastrous handling of the COVID pandemic.
And I know you called his list very deficient. But there are some areas of common ground between Democrats and Republicans. If you're willing to vote on a solo post office bill, why not reach a deal on some of these other issues where there is agreement? Surely, passing something to provide relief for struggling Americans is better than nothing.
PELOSI: Appreciate your question. What he put forth was bare leaves. He didn't mention the fact that millions of children in our country are food-insecure, that millions of people on the verge of eviction, that he did nothing to address the actual coronavirus, from testing, tracing, treatment, et cetera, that they are ignoring the needs of state and local government.
And all of this comes down to the education of our children. They don't want to do enough for that. And what they want to do is not the right path. So, again, he's putting out that to say -- and, by the way, what the president has said, if you give me this, I'm not doing anything else. We cannot accept that, not when kids are hungry, kids want to go to school, people need housing. The list goes on.
Of course, they don't want to do anything about the election, the $25 billion that would go to the Postal Service. And that's not about the elections only. It's about the coronavirus. It's about the nearly 100 percent of the prescriptions that go through the mail from VA for our veterans are affected by this and delayed by the actions of the Postal Service. So, this is an emergency immediately. And it's something that should be bipartisan. And it was yesterday. The public is demanding action on this now. I can't see how the Senate can avoid it, unless they do so to their peril.
PELOSI: But don't be misled by bare crumbs -- and I don't say crumbs, but the bare leaves that this administration wants to put out. All of the president wants is this one thing. He wants his name on a letter to go out with a check in it. And he doesn't care about the rest of it, about the coronavirus funding, about the state and local, which really fund our schools.
TAPPER: Right. So, a couple things. First, I think the White House is signaling that they'd be willing to go along with $10 billion in post office funding. I know that's less than the $25 billion you passed last night, but that's something. And, also, you say that House Democrats are on the same page with regards to the coronavirus negotiations.
But almost half of the Democratic Caucus signed a letter this week calling on you to pass a stand-alone unemployment insurance bill. And a number of the most vulnerable Democrats are urging you to restart negotiations. In a letter, they wrote -- quote -- "The reality is that only bipartisan solutions will deliver much-needed support. And that requires principled comprise by both parties. We must keep negotiating, no matter how difficult. Inaction is not an option." How much longer do you think your caucus is going to stand together on this if a stalemate continues?
PELOSI: My caucus is standing together on this. I invite any ideas that they have. I welcome them. And there are a number of letters for one aspect or another. And I welcome that. But they want -- of course, we all want the negotiations to continue, but not just what the administration wants, but what the country needs.
Today marks the 100th day since we passed the HEROES Act, so-called, to support our health care workers, our teachers, our first responders, our transportation, our sanitation, our food workers. And the White House says -- what they say to us is, why should one state help another state that may have needs? Well, we welcome them to the United States of America. It has a strategic plan to crush the virus, which they have ignored. Since we passed our bill, over four million more people have been added to the infection list because they paused. But over 70,000 -- what -- over 80,000 more people have died because they paused.
Could we have saved all of those lives and those diagnoses? Not all, but many. So, again, when we go to putting money into people's pockets, as the president wants to do with that letter, we have to do so, not in a bread and circuses way, I'm going to give you this, but I'm not giving you anything else.
This is like ancient Rome. Trump fiddles while Rome burns, while America burns, and Trump gives bread and circuses, without the bread.
So, we will see the circus this week with his convention, well- introduced by the words of his own family as to his lack of character and integrity.
All Donald Trump wants is his name on a check. He wants the glory of saving the American people, but he refuses to do any of the work.