Nancy Pelosi was quick to dismiss criticism from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during a briefing on Friday. Meadows accused Democrats of playing politics in the coronavirus stimulus negotiations.
Meadows blames Democrats for not being able to reach a short-term deal to extend certain benefits provided to those who have been affected by unemployment due to the coronavirus. Four separate offers were made to Democrats that were promptly rejected without a counterproposal.
“What we are seeing is politics as usual from Democrats on Capitol Hill,” Meadows said to reporters. “The Democrats believe that they have all the cards on their side, and they're willing to play those cards at the expense of those that are hurting.”
Pelosi was asked to respond to a tweet in which Meadows called Democrats a "politically motivated party that won't take 'yes' for an answer."
"Every time they say something, I say, 'Perhaps you are characterizing yourself and think that that's how we are,'" Pelosi said. "We're not. We're here. This is serious. This is life-and-death."
Pelosi made the argument that Congress moving short-term extensions of expiring programs was just a temporary band-aid used when the parties are close to agreeing on a long term fix. Unfortunately, the two sides can't seem to agree on an expansive stimulus package so the short-term patch would be meaningless.
Meadows then left the briefing without taking any questions, leaving White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to answer inquiries from reporters. She called the Democrat-passed bill "unserious" and ensured that the White House was determined to pass an extension for unemployment benefits.
When asked what the Americans who will lose their $600 per week in unemployment should do, McEnany recommended they call the offices of Pelosi and Schumer and tell them to "get to work and stop engaging in politics on the backs of Americans."