1. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) Minority Leader:
"When I look at what her compromise bill is all about. Well, it once again mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs, which I don't think those in COVID relief believe that's the priority they should do. Provides a massive tax break to the wealthy. And you know who would get the biggest tax break of all? Michael Bloomberg. I guess that's OK in the Democratic Party, because he supplied the most money for them."
2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) Minority Leader:
"You know, the one thing it does cut back on money, to make our streets safe and secure. Six hundred million dollars they cut from their original bill for law enforcement."
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) Minority Leader:
"Is there liability protection? Are the schools going to be protected from being sued or the small businesses? Because the Democrats never proposed that? Is this just more money into cannabis and not to jobs? I mean, what is the priority of the underlying? There are so many problems with the Democratic bill, why it's gone nowhere, and why Pelosi continues to hold on to it for a false hope that nobody will support."
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) Minority Leader:
"Nancy Pelosi has said numerous times that she would keep us here to get it done. That was in July. She made us wait all summer. But who did she really make wait? The small businesses that have now declared bankruptcy. Or those people that are employed by them that are now out of work. Or those at their unemployment that do not get the extra benefit? Or what about the airlines? Could she not see past politics for once?"
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy harshly criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her negotiating position on COVID relief, saying the Democrats' plan "mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs."
"There are so many problems with the Democratic bill, why it's gone nowhere," McCarthy said.
"Could she not see past politics for once?" he asked rhetorically.
The White House is backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and is dangling the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill of $1.6 trillion as last-ditch, pre-election negotiations hit a critical phase Thursday.
But pessimism is again seeping into the talks and the two sides switched back to attacking each other in public.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi were expected to talk by phone early Thursday afternoon, but the speaker was publicly dismissive of the latest White House plan.
Pelosi postponed debate Wednesday on a Democratic alternative measure in hopes of getting an agreement.
A vote is likely on Thursday, spokesman Drew Hammill said, depending on how the Mnuchin-Pelosi exchanges go.