Capitol Hill reporter Garrett Haake confessed that he has no idea what the Republican officials want when it comes to the unemployment stimulus bill.
A bill was passed in May by Democrats in the House, but the Senate ignored the problem until the last minute, allowing the additional unemployment funds from the stimulus to sunset and leave Americans scrambling to pay their Aug. 1 rent or mortgages.
The Senate then gave up, handing the responsibility for the bill over to the White House and told them to negotiate with the House, but the White House is less interested in unemployment benefits and wants more corporate bailouts.
Politicians would typically rush out of Washington for the August Recess and campaign back home in their districts, but the Democratic leadership has stayed, demanding action on the stimulus package. It's clear where they stand on the issue, but Haake noted that he can't quite get an answer from Republicans on what they are seeking in negotiations.
He explained that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the Democrats are trying to get a sense of the GOP's "position on the issue," his concern grows. It suggests that after leaving a meeting with Republicans, Democrats still have no idea what the GOP wants, then the GOP probably doesn't know what it wants either. Further, Haake said it concerns him that Republicans aren't moving with the same sense of urgency that Americans feel they need to.
"On the other side of that coin, another reporter asked Leader Schumer as he was walking away if there was any progress on those unemployment benefits the Republicans are sticking to that position, Nicolle, it's not clear what the Republican's position was on the unemployment benefit. Last week there were half-a-dozen things put on the floor," he said, noting the various proposals by Republicans, all of which outlined cuts to unemployment benefits.
"I do this for a living and I don’t know what their unified position is on those unemployment benefits," confessed Haake on MSNBC Monday.
Host Nicolle Wallace said that it's clear Republicans don't know their own districts if they're fighting back against unemployment stimulus. She cited a special over the weekend that showed the long lines at food pantries where people driving expensive cars in Dallas were hoping to get canned goods.
Democrats are at work on the school reopening bill, and Haake said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is going line-by-line through the bill to see where the GOP funding is and where she thinks more funding needs to be added to help schools.
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