(CNSNews.com) - "Let us all be prayerful that we can meet the needs of the American people," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
Pelosi rejected President Trump's effort to do by executive action what Democrats have so far refused to do through compromise legislation: put more money in the pockets of Americans reeling from the virus-caused shutdown of the economy.
Pelosi called the Republican plan weak and meager, and she acted like the Democrat plan is all about feeding children.
We -- look, we have a big difference, and here's why. For example, millions of children in America are food-insecure, and their families as well. But I always like to focus on the children.
In the -- in our bill, we have tens of billions of dollars to address the hunger needs in our country, which are there normally, but exacerbated during the pandemic. We have tens of billions of dollars.
They have $250,000, $250,000.So, do they care?
I have a prayer that I say, let's pray for those who are hungry; let's pray harder for those who will not feed them.
(Pelosi gave a longer version of the prayer on "Fox News Sunday," telling host Chris Wallace: "This being a Sunday morning, I just recall a prayer that says: Pray for those who are hungry, pray harder for those who will not feed them. Pray for those who are homeless, pray harder for those who will not give them shelter. Pray for those who are sick and lonely, pray harder for those who will not give them comfort.")
Despite Pelosi's focus on hunger, the Democrats' Heroes Act goes way beyond feeding children. For example, more than a trillion dollars would go to state and local governments, some of which were in financial trouble before the pandemic began.
"We've had it," President Trump said on Saturday as he announced four executive actions, including a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 a year; protection from eviction; expanded unemployment benefits, if states cover 25 percent of the cost; and relief for students with loans.
Pelosi told CNN she doubts the president's executive orders are legal: "My constitutional advisers tell me they're absurdly unconstitutional," she said.
President Trump tweeted on Monday morning: "So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were “hardliners”, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!"
Host Dana Bash pressed Pelosi on why Democrats won't compromise with Republicans: "Given what you just said about people hungry and worried and very, very fearful, why not get back in that room and come up with a compromise on some of these core issues?" Bash asked. "I understand you want to get the best possible for people, but, at some point, you have got to work with the other side, right?"
"Well, that's right," Pelosi responded.
And that's why we said we will come down a trillion, not that we cut out any of our priorities, but we shorten the length of time in which they would be in effect. And next year, we can extend them again. And they could add something.
I mean, tens of trillions, $60 trillion, actually, $250,000 -- there's a long way for us to come together. But we will come down a trillion, you go up a trillion, we will find our common ground here. Let's go to the table. But we can't accept what they have there.
Bash actually pressed Pelosi on that point, asking, "So, why aren't you at the table, then? Why aren't you guys working all weekend, then, to try to figure that out?"
"Well, we said, come back -- come back when you want to put up some more money," Pelosi responded. "But we can't accept the meager pass that they have there."
President Trump said his administration has "repeatedly stated our willingness to immediately sign legislation providing expanded unemployment benefits, protecting Americans from eviction, and providing additional relief payments to families.
Democrats have refused these offers; they want to negotiate. What they really want is bailout money for states that are run by Democrat governors and mayors, and that have been run very badly for many, many years — and many decades, in fact. You know the states; everybody knows who we’re talking about and what we’re talking about. I don’t think we have to go over it.
But what the Democrats primarily want is bailout money. It has nothing to do with the China virus. It has nothing to do with anything that we’ve been talking about over the last period of time. They want to bail out states that have been badly managed by Democrats, badly run by Democrats for many years — and, in fact, in all cases, many decades. And we’re not willing to do that.
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage on behalf of very extreme partisan demands and the radical-left Democrats, and we just can’t do that. So, hopefully, we can do something with them at a later date, but we’re going to be signing some bills in a little while that are going to be very important, and will take care of, pretty much, this entire situation.
Trump already has signed bills passed by Congress providing over $3 trillion in virus-related relief.
The Heroes Act passed by the House would be the largest relief package so far, at an estimated cost of $3.4 trillion.