- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 30, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday evening that Republicans have a “disdain” toward working people in that they don’t trust the public to responsibly use their extra unemployment benefits.

Mrs. Pelosi said the main pillars in Democrats’ coronavirus relief offer are direct aid to state and local governments, health care providers and first responders.

“In addition to that, we have the testing, which I described, and then put money in the pockets of the American people,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said on CNN. “While they have a disdain or sort of a condescension toward working people, it seems, because they don’t trust how they might use the $600.”

“That kind of thing — oh, they have money to pay the rent. They are just not paying the rent,” she continued. “We cannot operate if we are not even stipulating to a basic set of facts.”

She said people are hurting, unemployment is high, and there needs to be a comprehensive plan on coronavirus testing and giving money to Americans.

The White House, Senate Republicans and congressional Democrats appeared no closer on Wednesday to striking a deal on the next coronavirus relief package.

Democrats want to extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment benefits through the end of the year, while the GOP plan would reduce them to $200 until the states could pay the unemployed about 70% of their lost wages.

Republicans say they don’t want the benefits structured in such a way that it’s more lucrative to be on unemployment than it is to work.

The White House has also floated a shorter-term extension of the benefits, which expire at the end of the week.

Mrs. Pelosi has ruled out a piecemeal or stopgap approach.

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