(USA Features) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday laid the blame for the nation’s cratering economy on President Donald Trump as the government reported millions more first-time unemployment claims.
During a question-and-answer session with reporters, Pelosi said she is negotiating with Republicans on new funding for small businesses after she and fellow Democrats ignored GOP pleas this week to put politics aside and pass clean legislation replenishing a fund for firms hurt by coronavirus-related closure orders issued by governors and mayors.
After coming under intense fire from Republicans all week, Pelosi tried to turn the tables and blame President Trump for the impasse.
“The truth is, because of the incompetent reaction to this health crisis, the strong economy handed to Donald Trump is now a disaster, causing the suffering of countless Americans and endangering lives,” she said, adding that he was “weak” and “a poor leader who takes no responsibility.”
Last week, Democrats blocked a $250 billion measure that would have replenished funds in the small business loan program that was part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package passed earlier this month.
They want an additional $100 billion for medical facilities and $150 billion for states and local governments. Also, Democrats have attempted to tie other legislative priorities to the funding such as nationwide mail-in balloting.
Meanwhile, Republicans blasted the Speaker for holding up funding amid reports that some 22 million Americans are now out of work due to state-level closures of non-essential businesses.
“I cannot understand, after watching another 5 million get unemployed, Speaker Pelosi continues to say no,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said Thursday. “It’s just unheard of. A whole program that is working that only provides the small businesses to stay afloat, to keep their people hired.”