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Andrea Mitchell Tosses Softballs to Pelosi, Lets Her Dictate Terms

During a live interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell lobbed one softball after another, refusing to press the Democratic leader on playing politics with coronavirus relief legislation. Instead, Mitchell repeatedly encouraged Pelosi to dictate terms of the aid package and attack President Trump.

“Any bipartisan Senate deal with the White House cannot become law, of course, without agreement by the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives,” Mitchell proclaimed at the top of her 12:00 p.m. ET hour show. Turning to Pelosi, the host wondered: “From your perspective – the House Democrats have yet to be heard from –  what needs to be in this bill that is now being negotiated between Mitch McConnell, Secretary Mnuchin and Democrats in the Senate, in order to get House approval?”

 

 

Minutes later, Mitchell fretted that “initially there was not transparency” in the relief bill, touting concerns that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin “will be the sole authority” over bailout funds for corporations. “We understand that has now been negotiated….Is that your understanding? And if it is that change, would that be acceptable to you?,” she asked the Speaker.

In a follow-up, the MSNBC anchor emphasized the importance of Pelosi being satisfied with any deal: “Well, it does raise the question of whether or not you have confidence that what is coming out can be voted on and that Secretary Mnuchin is accommodating to demands from Democrats, as well as I suspect from some Republicans, that there be oversight over this amount of money.”

The only question that even vaguely alluded to Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues blatantly exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic for political gain came in the form of Mitchell politely wondering if the Democratic leader would like to knock down any criticism from Republicans:

I just want to give you a chance to respond to things that the President has tweeted, that Mitch McConnell said yesterday, saying they were close to a deal and then you came back –  you came back from your extended vacation. You know, this is the back and forth that we’re seeing and I just wanted to give you the chance to respond, if you choose to.

Pelosi predictably responded with a partisan jab: “Well, I don’t really make it a habit of paying attention to any attacks from the President, because every knock from him is a boost for me.”

That was enough for Mitchell, who moments later concluded the friendly chat: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thank you so much. Thank you for taking the time, I know how busy you are.”

Not once did Mitchell call out the wish list of left-wing agenda items that Pelosi and her cohorts shoved into to an absurd House bill.

Instead, the supposed “journalist” seemed only seconds away from asking if she could fluff her guest’s pillow.

Here is a transcript of Mitchell’s March 24 questions to Pelosi:

11:59 AM ET

(…)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Any bipartisan Senate deal with the White House cannot become law, of course, without agreement by the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has outlined her chief concerns today and the Speaker joins me now from Capitol Hill. Madam Speaker, thank you so very much for joining us at such a critical time in our government. It’s very important to hear from leaders. You just heard Chuck Schumer say they’re on the two yard line. From your perspective – the House Democrats have yet to be heard from –  what needs to be in this bill that is now being negotiated between Mitch McConnell, Secretary Mnuchin and Democrats in the Senate, in order to get House approval?

(…)

12:03 PM

MITCHELL: Well, to that very point, the President was asked yesterday about the $500 billion and the oversight. And initially there was not transparency. We understand that has now been negotiated, we’ll get to see the final language, of course. Let me play what the President said at that briefing last night.

PAULA REID [CBS NEWS]: It’s about the lack of oversight, the Treasury having unilateral authority to dole out all of this money.

DONALD TRUMP: Look, I’ll be the oversight. I’ll be the oversight. We’re going to make good deals, we make good deals.

MITCHELL: He said he would be the oversight. Now, as we understand it, Chuck Schumer has managed to negotiate with Secretary Mnuchin in the overnight hours and today, and that oversight is now there. There will be a congressional oversight committee. There will not be the six months Where Mnuchin will be the sole authority. Is that your understanding? And if it is that change, would that be acceptable to you?

(…)

12:04 PM

MITCHELL: Well, it does raise the question of whether or not you have confidence that what is coming out can be voted on and that Secretary Mnuchin is accommodating to demands from Democrats, as well as I suspect from some Republicans, that there be oversight over this amount of money. Which there was not, arguably, in 2008, with the last big bailout.

(…)

12:07 PM

MITCHELL: I want to get to some of the other points that was in your bill and much of this is already incorporated in the compromised legislation still being worked on. One is state aid, aid to state and local governments. Another is unemployment insurance for four months. And I think Senator Schumer has just confirmed it will be full pay for the idle workers for four months. And then, direct payments that – direct payments to people who are making under $100,000, or I don’t know if that number is changing, as well as food security. Are those some of your key – key arguments in terms of policies?

(…)

12:10 PM

MITCHELL: And to that point also, the President tweeted today, “Our people want to return to work.” He tweeted, “They will practice social distancing and all else, and senior will be watched over protectively and lovingly. We can do two things together. The cure cannot be worse (by far) than the problem. Congress must act now, we will come back strong.” He has suggested last night and on Twitter and in his briefing and again now today, that he thinks people should go back sooner rather than later, which is in contradiction with his own task force, with Dr. Fauci and others. What would be your message about whether, as reluctant people are to see the economy tank, whether we have to get past this surge before we can consider coming back. And it is going to be more than two weeks.

(…)

12:12 PM

MITCHELL: Dr. Fauci has not been seen at recent briefings with the President. There’s a lot of solid reporting that the President is not happy about the way he pushed back against some of the President’s pronouncements on drugs that had not been properly tested and using other drugs, alternative drugs, before they’re approved. Would the Congress – would you be concerned if Dr. Fauci is pushed down after having served since the Reagan years? Or not listened to?

(…)
    
12:15 PM

MITCHELL: Madam Speaker, can you give us an update on the members? There were three members who had been tested positive and were suffering from this virus, the coronavirus. Are any more affected? Can you give us an update? And tell us what you think the possibility is for remote voting. I know Congressman McGovern, the Rules chairman, had some advice that remote voting was not going to work. What other options are there if more people get sick?
(…)

12:17 PM

MITCHELL: I just want to give you a chance to respond to things that the President has tweeted, that Mitch McConnell said yesterday, saying they were close to a deal and then you came back –  you came back from your extended vacation. You know, this is the back and forth that we’re seeing and I just wanted to give you the chance to respond, if you choose to.

NANCY PELOSI: Well, I don’t really make it a habit of paying attention to any attacks from the President, because every knock from him is a boost for me.

(…)

12:21 PM

MITCHELL: Do you think it can be done today, Madam Speaker? Do you think that it can be done today?

(…)

12:23 PM

MITCHELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thank you so much. Thank you for taking the time, I know how busy you are.

PELOSI: My pleasure. Thank you.

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