'We have to defeat the virus…[it's] one of the contentious issues': Speaker Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is interviewed on "This Week."
9:20 | 08/02/20

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Transcript for 'We have to defeat the virus…[it's] one of the contentious issues': Speaker Pelosi
We begin with speaker Pelosi, speaker, both sides said yesterday's meeting was the longest, most productive one you have had including secretary mnuchin, so tell us what progress was made and broadly what sticking points remain. Thank you so much for focusing your opening on the actual virus. Because in our negotiations we're talking about dealing with some of the consequences of this pandemic. But the fact is, we must -- we must defeat this virus. And that is one of the points that we still have not come to any agreement on. In our legislation, the heroes act, we have a strategic plan for defeating the virus, testing, tracing, treatment, isolation, masks, sanitation and the rest, and we just still haven't come to an agreement, we started this March 4th, our first bill was testing, testing, testing. Our most recent big bill with the expansion of the ppp was about testing, testing. It still has not been implemented by the administration. If we're going to open our economy and have our children be in schools we have to defeat the virus and that is one of the contentious issues that we have to deal with yet. Madam secretary, Democrats did turn down of a short-term extension. This is what mnuchin said. There's clearly a desire on their part to do an entire package. We're willing deal with the short-term issues and come back to a larger issues. So, what do you say to those 30 million Americans who are now without federal unemployment help? I say talk to president he's the one standing in the way for that. We've been for the $600. They have a $200 proposal which doesn't meet the needs of America's working families. It's a con den -- saying they don't need it. The idea that they made a proposal is really not actually factual. House majority leader Steny Hoyer was asked this week, if you might be willing to settle for a smaller amount of $600 in the federal employment. To say that it's $600 or nothing, anything less than $600 is not a deal breaker? No, the fact is, is that the amount of money that's given as an enhancement for unemployment insurance should relate to the rate of unemployment, so as that goes down, then you can consider something less than $600, but in this agreement it's $600 and, again, they're subjecting somebody who might be -- oh, people are staying home, the data doesn't support that, yes, they might anecdotally have examples, but the fact is, they're subjecting someone who's getting $600 to scrutiny they won't subject people who are getting millions of dollars in the ppp. This is about putting workers first and the fact is, if we're going to succeed we must defeat the virus. We need more testing -- I want to go back to that $600 and people staying home. Hoyer said there's an argument to be made that the additional $600 in federal assistance is as some Republicans have argued an a disincentive for some to go back to work. Any validity to that? No, I have the statistics since then, we have seen the statistics from Yale university and the rest overwhelmingly this is making a difference, it's keeping people out of poverty and actually with all due to respect, you're talking about statements that leader Hoyer has made that he's elaborated on since then. But the $600 is essential, for America's working families and, again, to condescend, to disrespect their motivation is so amazing how insistent the Republicans are about working family and their $600 and how cavalier they are about other money that's going out, but the fact is, we have to get back to strategic plan and in the heroes act is we have three pillars that address this concern -- first, honor our heroes, state and local. Healthcare workers, et cetera, who are risking their lives to save lives. Now they may lose their jobs. When they lose their job they go on unemployment. We really need to support state and local governments, cover the expenses they have from the coronavirus, but also the fact that it's going to add to the unemployment ranks and that costs money as well. We don't want that to happen. Speaker Pelosi, I know you're not going to give us an exact time line, but can you tell those workers out there anything about when this possibly could be settle? Well, the fact is, close to an agreement when we have an agreement. The fact is they put on the floor the end of this week in the senate, $200, so when you say, $600 -- they have no support for that in their party. We are unified in our support for $600. They are in disarray on -- many of their members in the senate, Republican members don't want any addition. We're saying three things, support our state and local heroes, strategic big plan to end the virus, and put money in the pockets of America's working families and we have other issues that relate to food that are contentious. Speaker Pelosi, one thing you talk about is getting rid of covid, your home state California is the first state to surpass 500,000 positive cases, a record high number, what did governor Gavin Newsom do wrong? We're the largest state in the union, numerically it's not shocking to say we have the most cases. But we're very proud of our governor, governor Newsom, he contained and controlled how this spread in the beginning, some people in the state wanted to open up, and we're a large state, we have great diversity of opinion on what should happen in different regions and when that -- when the opening up took place, we have more cases and that should be instructive to others that the virus is vicious and you have to have shelter in place as long as you need it and when you do and you reduce the spread, then you can open up the schools when you reduce the infection in a community, but until you do that, you have to be very careful. Madam speaker, we have a couple of more minutes here. Politico reported in a closed meeting on Friday, you accused Dr. Deborah birx of the coronavirus task force, of spreading disinformation about the pandemic, is that true and do you have confidence in her? I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus and she's his appointee. I don't have confidence there, no. And I want to ask you quickly about election security, president trump suggested that November's election could be delayed over concerns about mail-in voting, that drew widespread criticism, what are your concerns come November? Well, I'm a former chair of the California democratic party. I know the Republicans know how to do mail-in voting. They always would prevail when the mail-in votes came in. I think it's important for you to know, Martha, that in the most recent election we had in California, spring special election, that the president's son Donald Trump Jr. And his daughter in law both did Robos and ads saying to Republicans, mail in your ballots. So they were talking about mail-in voting at this most recent election. I think that the president -- I don't think it benefits one party or another. But I think it's essential from a health reason because we want to keep people at home to vote without having them all collect on election day, but if they do want to vote in person, that we have sufficient spacing and all the rest so it's not a risk to their health. People shouldn't have to choose between their health and their vote. That's very important. Thank you very much for joining us this morning. Thank you, Martha. Wonderful to be with you always. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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