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Opinion | Pelosi’s Latest Ultimatum


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference at the Capitol Building, Oct. 8.



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Nancy Pelosi is one slick operator. She has managed to blame President Trump for the failure of a new Covid-19 relief bill even as she keeps rejecting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s concession after concession.

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The House Speaker issued her latest ultimatum Sunday, saying that the White House has 48 hours to reach a deal before the election. This came after she rejected the latest White House offer of $1.88 trillion, which followed her rejection of $1.6 trillion, which followed her rejection of $1 trillion. She blamed the White House language on a national virus test-and-trace plan, but the real hold up is her demand for hundreds of billions for Democratic states and public unions.

The mystery at this stage is why Mr. Trump won’t take no for an answer. A last-minute spending blowout won’t change the presidential race, and it won’t help the economy in time for the election and not much after that. Agreeing to Mrs. Pelosi’s terms of surrender would divide Senate Republicans and might hurt their chances of keeping a majority. A Trump Presidency with Democratic House and Senate majorities would be a very ugly four years.

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Appeared in the October 19, 2020, print edition.



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