House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blames Senate Republicans for delaying the passing of another $500B coronavirus relief bill and gave the president gets an 'F' grade for preparedness, Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Good morning. Happy Earth Day to you.
We're very pleased that the Senate finally accepted the fact that we needed more money for testing, for hospitals, for lower -- smaller businesses to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. It took them -- that took them a couple of weeks, but they finally did.
We're in a tradition of having this be the fourth bill that we were passing in bipartisan -- in a bipartisan spirit. Three in the month of March.
The first one, March 4th, passed in the House was about testing, testing, testing. A month and a half later, we still aren't where we need to be. Hopefully with the bill that passed the Senate yesterday, will pass the House tomorrow, there will be the recognition that if we want to open the country, if we want to open our economy, the key to that is testing, testing, testing, contract -- contact tracing, as well as, again, I think I'm going to call it isolation, separation, or the rest.
But again, Mitch McConnell likes to say we delayed the bill. No, he delayed the bill.
A month -- two weeks ago he came to the floor and said, "This is all we're doing, just the $250 billion." And the Democrats were united, House and Senate. The Senate Democrats went to the floor and said no -- no to that. We have a better idea, about hospitals and testing and more funds for all of the business, the lower -- shall we say the un-bankable small businesses.
So we were very pleased that he finally came around to the fact that we had to go forward with this. So he was the one wasting time. I say that because I keep hearing him say we delayed. No, he delayed.
But here we are and we're ready to go onto the next bill to help our -- our heroes, health care workers, our firefighters, our first responders, EMS, our folks who are doing all the wonderful work to save lives as they risk their lives, and now they may lose their jobs.
SCARBOROUGH: Madam -- Madam Speaker, can you tell us how the money's going to help hospitals, how the money's going to help move national testing forward? Just give us a few specifics about the -- I know a lot of senior citizens are watching this show and they're really concerned, especially about the economy opening up before testing, more -- more robust testing gets rolled out.
Tell us how this bill moves America in the right direction for testing.
PELOSI: Well, this is a very important step. We thought the first bill in March would have been acted upon certainly by now.
This allocates $25 billion for testing. Some of it to go to the states, some to different agencies of government to do research, et cetera and approvals.
This is very, very positive in that it recognizes the need for testing and it also recognizes the need for us to document how this terrible pandemic is affecting different communities.
If you do not test, you cannot possibly know the size of the challenge. Once you do, then you have -- are in a better place to -- to get -- get rid of it. And that is the path to opening the economy.
So, for our seniors at nursing homes and the rest, as you say, that's a big toll being taken there. But if we can test and contact -- and isolate people, we're on a very -- much better path.
There's a Boy Scout saying, "Proper preparation prevents poor performance." Well, that is exactly where the president gets an F. He was not properly prepared, not with the truth, with the facts or the admission of what was happening in our country. Delay -- whatever, delay, denial, death.
Instead we'd like to see him insist on the truth and we must insist on the truth with him. And that is really what should give us hope.
If he finally -- note -- never too late -- it's never too late, as I keep saying, to tell the truth, Mr. President, and it's never too late to do the right thing and to pay attention to science, science, science and science.