Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a media availability after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on further coronavirus relief legislation. Below is a full transcript:
Speaker Pelosi: Good afternoon. We’re going to be very brief because we have work to do.
Today, we had sort of a message from the Senate side that seems to me that Senator McConnell really doesn’t want to get an agreement made. By this announcement made about, what, nothing is coming to the Floor unless it’s completely his way on liability. It wasn’t a good way for us to start the discussion this afternoon.
We—we are going to meet again tomorrow at the suggestion of the distinguished Leader. We are going to meet again tomorrow. But part of what we are doing now is really airing our differences. There is discovery in understanding where there might be opportunity or not.
But what the Leader said today sounded like a person who had no interest in having an agreement, A.
Sen. Schumer: Republican Leader.
Speaker Pelosi: The Republican Leader, yes.
Mr. McConnell, what’s his name. And—and that was most unfortunate.
I yield to the distinguished Democratic Leader.
Sen. Schumer: Yeah. At his press conference, Leader McConnell said that his entire liability provision would have to be, without negotiation, part of any bill that’s going to pass. That is no way to negotiate, particularly when his provision is so extreme. It favors corporations, we know that. But, for instance, it says: all medical malpractice, COVID-related or not—all state medical malpractice is gone till 2024. It’s a radical change of all liability law.
And we asked Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Meadows to go back and see if Mr. McConnell really meant that. Because that would mean he’s probably not interested in any bill at all.
Speaker Pelosi: Yeah. I just want to say a few more things. This liability provision he put in there is McConnell liability on steroids. He has taken it to a whole other place. And, again, he doesn’t sound like anybody who wants to have an agreement or anybody who can pass a bill on the Floor of the Senate.
Sen. Schumer: Thank you.