House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday attempted to ratchet up the pressure on Republican negotiators in a press conference, saying that “people will die” if a stimulus bill isn’t passed soon.
Pelosi attempted to focus on the divisions among Republicans in the Senate, claiming they are “disorganized” and don’t “believe in governance or science.”
“Let’s meet in the middle, we’ve said all of that,” Pelosi said. “But until they’re ready to do that, it’s no use sitting in a room and let them tell us that states should go bankrupt.”
President Donald Trump on Thursday said that negotiations are being delayed on a new stimulus bill because Democrats are pushing for the funding of universal mail-in ballots, among other contentious points.
Trump told Fox News that “it’s their fault,” referring to Democratic lawmakers, on why the talks have stalled on a broader relief package that includes potentially extra unemployment funding, stimulus checks, liability protections, loans for small businesses, and more.
“They want $3.5 billion for something that’s fraudulent … for the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump remarked.
The president added: “But if they don’t get those two items, then they can’t have mail-in ballots.” In the interview, he said that mail-in ballots have allegedly been “sent to dogs” and “dead people,” claiming that it would lead to election interference in November. In Virginia, he said that “500,000 phony ballot applications were sent to voters,” adding that there were weeks-long delays in New York.
Democratic governors have pushed for mail-in ballots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump has long decried the proposal.
But Trump told the broadcaster that “there is nothing wrong with getting out and voting” during the pandemic. “They voted in World War I and in World War II,” Trump said. “They should have voter ID because Democrats scammed the system.”
The conservative Heritage Foundation found 14 cases of attempted mail fraud out of roughly 15.5 million ballots cast in Oregon since that state started conducting elections by mail in 1998, according to Reuters.
Other negotiation sticking points include whether to provide approximately $1 trillion in funding to state and local governments. Democrats, in their $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, want to do just that, while Republicans proposed no new funding for those jurisdictions.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump previously described the funding as a “bailout” of “poorly run” states, noting that it has little to do with the pandemic caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.