- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured Fox News’ Chris Wallace over the weekend that President Trump’s executive orders for coronavirus relief are not a reflection of poor negotiating skills on her part.

The California Democrat told the “Fox News Sunday” host that he lacked an “understanding of what is happening” regarding House and Senate negotiations, which echoed similar sentiments she made toward PBS’ Judy Woodruff.

“You’re known as a master negotiator, but didn’t you mess this one up?” Mr. Wallace asked on Sunday. “You knew that the president was threatening to take this executive action. I understand that you weren’t going to get everything you wanted and didn’t get everything you wanted, but should you have cut a deal?”

Mrs. Pelosi bristled at the question.

“How do you justify tens-of-billions of dollars to feed the hungry to $250,000?” she asked. “You understand how far apart we are just by that example. … Let’s put it this way: We have to reach an agreement. Children are food insecure. Families are at the risk of being evicted. The virus is moving like a freight train even though the president has ignored and delayed and distorted what that is. Something’s wrong. When you look at those executive orders, the kindest thing I can say is he doesn’t know what he’s talking about or something’s wrong there.”

Mr. Wallace noted that in the absence of principled compromise between legislators, “a lot of people and a lot of entities that were in need ending up with nothing.”

“They were offering $150 billion for cities and states,” the Fox host said. “You wanted $900 billion.”

The president’s executive orders were signed on Saturday and include a payroll tax holiday for working Americans making less than $100,000.

Mr. Trump’s orders also renew a moratorium on housing evictions, provides relief for those making student loan payments and offers unemployment benefits of $400 per week through November.

Mrs. Pelosi was ostensibly warned during her Aug. 4 interview with Ms. Woodruff that her negotiating tactics were not bearing fruit.

“Democrats want more money, Republicans want a lot less,” Ms. Woodruff said against a political backdrop in which the president was suggesting he might have to intervene. “They are saying they’re willing to show flexibility, and they’re also saying a lot of the money that was passed in the spring, Madam Speaker, has not even been spent yet.”

“Well, if you want to be an advocate for them, Judy, if you want to be an advocate for them—,” the Democrat responded.

“No, I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here to ask you for your position,” Ms. Woodruff replied.

“That’s not what the facts are. No, no [you] aren’t,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “We have a bill that meets the needs of the American people. It’s called The Heroes Act. They have not even, they don’t even wanna do state and local — and when they do it’s very meager.”

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