House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that President Trump has until the end of the day tomorrow to make a deal for coronavirus financial assistance if he wants it to happen before the election.
“The 48 [hours] only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do.”
“If we test and trace and treat, masks, separate, ventilate, sanitize, and all the rest of that, we can open our schools, we can open our businesses,” she said.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of Americans are hurting, as you know, as well, Madam Speaker.
I know you have been negotiating with the White House over a possible economic relief package, and you spoke with Secretary Mnuchin last night.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Any closer to reaching a deal?
PELOSI: Well, we’re seeking clarity, because, actually, the — with all due respect to some of the people in the president’s administration, they’re not legislators.
So, when they said we’re accepting the language on testing, for example, they’re just making a light touch. They said they changed shall to may, requirements to recommendations, a plan to a strategy, not a strategic plan. They took out 55 percent of the language that we had there for testing and tracing.
And the tracing part is so important, because communities of color had been disproportionately affected by this.
So, on this subject where we have agreement, we don’t have agreement in the language yet, but I’m hopeful. And here’s the big difference. Communities of color have more deaths than the white population.
Let’s just think of this. If you are a child, a Hispanic child has eight times more chance of going to the hospital with COVID than a white child. A black child, five times more chance of going to the hospital on that. That’s because we have not addressed the problem.
The testing. The tracing. The treatment. The mask wearing. The separation. The sanitation. And all that goes with it. So, again, hopefully we can learn from each other.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re —
PELOSI: And they understand — and let me just say this, we had pages and pages of how you would do this in the minority community. They crossed it all out. Instead they put this sentence, contact tracing will be paid for by the Federal Government as part of the $75 billion.
OK, we agree to that. But given state difference, each state shall establish a strategy that is appropriate to its circumstances. CDC can provide guidance to the states on elements. Can, no must.
But in addition to that, we have to have a national plan. You cannot leave it up to the states —
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you go —
PELOSI: — decide how they’re going to address the minority community —
STEPHANOPOULOS: If you don’t get that agreement —
STEPHANOPOULOS: If you don’t get that agreement in the 48 hour deadline you set, what happens?
PELOSI: Well, here’s the thing, the 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, don’t you? Yes.
PELOSI: Yes, so which we do. But we’re saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things. Are we going with it or not and what is the language?
I’m optimistic because, again, we’ve been back and forth on all of this. You know legislation, shall is different from may. Shall — the difference amounts to this, if you think of it this simple way, when you say may you’re giving the president a flush front. He may do this, he may grant, he may withhold.
When you say shall, according to the scientific — the science tells us must happen. And if we test and trace and treat, masks, separate, ventilate, sanitize, and all the rest of that, we can open our schools, we can open our businesses.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if you reach a deal with the White House somewhere around $1.82 trillion, Leader McConnell has said he’s not going to put something like that on the floor of the Senate. So what happens?
PELOSI: Well, he did — he said a number of things and one of the things that he said, I think it was yesterday, was — but it was reported yesterday, that if the White House and the House come to an agreement that he would put it on the floor.
That is among his many statements. But most of the time he spends it laughing. Pushing the pause button, telling states to go bankrupt, laughing when — in his debate, did you see that? When Amy McGrath was saying to him, what are you doing about stopping spread of the virus et cetera, he laughed. He laughed.
This is not funny. The president didn’t take it seriously, McConnell has not taken it seriously. But we can stop this if we follow the science. And be ready for a vaccine, which I hope will be soon.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You haven’t spoken to the president in over a year. Are you willing to pick up the phone to close a deal to get this done?
PELOSI: Look (ph) — let me just say this because I keep getting that question. It isn’t about the president. He sends his representative — President Bush sent his representative, President Obama sent a representative, professionals who know something about the policy, this is not unusual.
However, I have a great deal of respect for the office I hold, Speaker of the House, and I have a great deal of respect for the position that he holds, President of the United States. This is not a casual conversation. This is about a meeting of the head of the first branch of government, the legislative branch, and the president.
If there is a purpose, if there is a stipulation of trying to get something done, then perhaps we take this to that place when we can’t solve other problems. But many of you have spent many times calculating how many times the president has misrepresented the facts, how many times the president has told me and told Chuck Schumer that yes, we’re going to do this for Dreamers, or told bipartisan (inaudible) representatives in the (inaudible) yes, we’re going to do this on immigration, told us yes, we’re going to do this on infrastructure. But then he doesn’t.
So again, you want to meet with him, you meet with him. As far as I’m concerned, the Speaker of the House must be respected in terms of what the purpose of the meeting is, what the preparation is for it, and what the likely outcome (ph) of success would be.