House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday, wearing a scarf she used as a facial covering amid the pandemic, took shots at both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing them both of being “anti-science” and “anti-governance.”
“Speaking of Mitch, what’s gotten into him?” Pelosi told reporters at a weekly Capitol Hill news conference.”The president is asking people to inject Lysol into their lungs, and Mitch is saying that states should go bankrupt. It is clear — visible within 24 hours — of how Republicans reject science and reject governance.”
Trump suggested that sunlight, high humidity or possibly an “injection” of “the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute” could be COVID-19 treatments during a White House briefing on Thursday.
The White House claimed Friday that his comments, which many medical experts call dangerous or even deadly, were taken “out of context.”
Later on Friday, Trump claimed that he was being “sarcastic” when he made the suggestion.
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“Unfortunately, we’re seeing Republicans make comments with zero connection to science and facts,” Pelosi said.
McConnell raised eyebrows earlier this week after he dug in and said Congress should not be forced to bail out local and state governments, and suggested that states in financial trouble, like New York, should go bankrupt instead.
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview Wednesday. His office put out a press release calling for a stop to “Blue State Bailouts,” a reference to predominately Democratic states or states run by Democrats.
Pelosi called McConnell’s position “morally wrong” and said Democrats are full steam ahead at crafting the next massive coronavirus relief package, and doubled down on her call to help states battling with the novel coronavirus.
Asked how much money Democrats want to give to states, Pelosi said the “number is equivalent to what we’ve done with small businesses.”
Congress has spent nearly $700 billion to help bolster small businesses, so it’s an indication that Pelosi plans to go big in the next relief package.
“There will not be a bill without state and local, OK?” Pelosi added. “There will be a bill. And it will be expensive. And we look forward to doing it as soon as possible because jobs are at stake.”
But the negotiations over a fifth relief package are expected to be challenging. Republicans have said they want to “wait and see” how the $2 trillion stimulus and the just-passed $484 billion relief package affect workers and the economy before they move on to another bill.
And in recent days, McConnell and other Republicans have raised concerns about the national debt the country is taking on with the nearly $3 trillion in relief Congress has passed in recent weeks.
“Is that the same Mitch McConnell who passed an almost $2 trillion tax bill…without even saying a word about its impact on the deficit?” Pelosi asked rhetorically.
“Again, anti-governance, anti-science, that’s who they are,” Pelosi said of Republicans.
But Pelosi made clear House will be voting quickly on the next relief package: “We will be ready soon with our next bill, and the sooner we can pass it, the better.”
Pelosi also said Democrats are seeking to add more money for the U.S. Postal Service in the next round of relief, but they’re getting severe push back on this from the Trump administration.
“The Postal Service is a joke,” Trump told reporters Friday, repeating his longstanding anger over pricing deals it gives to Amazon and other retailers for delivering their packages to remote locations.
Trump said he would not approve an emergency loan for the USPS if it did not immediately raise its prices for that package delivery.
“The Post Office should raise the price [of package delivery] four times,” Trump said, adding that he would not allow Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to approve the loan without an increase.
“If they don’t raise the price, I’m not signing anything,” he said.
Trump later softened his tone on Twitter, and said he will “never let our Post Office fail.”
Pelosi, meanwhile, dealt another blow to Trump at the conclusion of her press conference about his directives during the coronavirus crisis.
“[The White House] told me, it came right from the president: No money for the Post Office. Instead, inject Lysol into your lungs as we shut down the states,” Pelosi said, mocking Trump.
The House is set to return on May 4 but Pelosi said that timing is still uncertain.
“Any decision that we have about when we come back rests with the Staff Sergeant at Arms and the Capitol physician. Hopefully, things will get better, who knows,” she said.