Pelosi Appears On ‘CNN Sunday’ To Hand Trump His Ass

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Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order outlining a plan for an add-on of $400 a week for unemployment benefits — but states are expected to pitch in 25 percent of the money, and it’s unclear when the increased benefits might actually start going out. The executive order seems like an attempt at a cop-out for Republicans amidst the ongoing negotiations over a planned new Coronavirus-connected economic relief package. The $400-a-week add-on is meant, on paper, to replace a $600-a-week add-on that was enacted towards the start of the pandemic-associated economic upheaval but expired recently. During an appearance on CNN this Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned the president’s floundering.

Speaking with State of the Union host Dana Bash, Pelosi pointed out that the president’s latest orders seem completely disconnected from the reality on the ground. States might not even have the money that would be required to contribute 25 percent of the proposed unemployment benefits increase, she said. As she put it:

‘Something’s wrong. Either the President doesn’t know what he’s talking about — clearly his aides don’t know what he is talking about — or something’s very wrong here about meeting the needs of the American people at this time.’

Watch below:

Asked if relief negotiations will resume, Pelosi added:

‘I hope so. We have a big difference, and here’s why. For example, millions of children in America are food-insecure, and their families as well, but I always like to focus on the children. In our bill, we have tens of billions of dollars to address the hunger needs in our country, which are there normally, but exacerbated during the pandemic. We have tens of billions of dollars, they have two hundred and fifty thousand… so do they care? I have a prayer that I say, let’s pray for those who are hungry, let’s pray harder for those who will not feed them.’

Watch below:

Trump has faced steep criticism over the executive orders debacle from other sources. Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, for instance, said:

‘Trump is trying to distract from his failure to extend the $600 federal boost for 30 million unemployed workers by issuing illegal executive orders. This scheme is a classic Trump con: play-acting at leadership while robbing people of the support they desperately need.’

As Wyden indicates, there’s not some kind of clear legality to the president’s orders, and there could be ensuing court challenges.

Trump’s failure to take the economic component of the Coronavirus crisis appropriately seriously matches his failure to take the public health component seriously. He has, for instance, claimed that the reason that the U.S. has so many cases is that the country has done so much testing, which is ridiculous. The virus would still spread, sicken, and kill people without a single test.

During a recent interview with Axios, when confronted with the steep death tolls, Trump said, “It is what it is.” In other words, he just doesn’t seem to care about the human costs of the crisis, seemingly preferring to try and deflect blame for the problems of his own administration.