House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has come under fire from across the ideological spectrum for supporting a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package after refusing to compromise on the matter for months leading up to last month’s election.
Now, even ostensibly sympathetic news outlets are pressing the Democratic leader over her perceived reticence toward providing specific answers to reporters’ questions.
“She ignored my question”
Pelosi’s unwillingness to field one CNN correspondent’s queries became the subject of a Twitter thread earlier this week.
Manu Raju detailed the House speaker’s repeated refusal to explain her acceptance of a bill that is roughly half the amount of a prior offer that she summarily rejected.
“Pelosi wouldn’t call on me at the press conference, which is becoming a pattern, even though just five reporters were there,” he tweeted. “She left the press conference as I asked her the question. And she ignored my question in the hallway as well.”
Raju noted that he approached Pelosi in the hallway to ask why the latest plan is “more acceptable” than the previous proposal, but she “didn’t respond.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on the other hand, reportedly told the CNN correspondent to take it up with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“As a preface to your question”
Raju was clearly not convinced, tweeting: “It’s true that McConnell and Senate Republicans objected to [Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin’s $1.8 trillion plan, but so did Pelosi, who said in October: ‘This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back.'”
As it turns out, this was not the first run-in the reporter has had with Pelosi on this topic. Three weeks earlier, the House speaker snapped at Raju when he asked whether it had been a “mistake” to refuse earlier attempts at negotiation.
“I’m going to tell you something — don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake, as a preface to your question if you want an answer,” she said.
At the time, Pelosi said she was “very proud” of the supposed progress that finally led to a bipartisan relief bill.
“That was not a mistake, it was a decision, and it’s taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want,” she said.