Sen. Chuck Grassley: Pelosi, Schumer ‘don’t have a leg to stand on’ in ‘Phase 4’ funding talks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., don’t have a “leg to stand on” when it comes to haggling over a “Phase 4” coronavirus stimulus bill, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley stated Saturday.

Appearing on “Cavuto LIVE” with host Neil Cavuto, Grassley said that the urgency of the emergency relief for American workers and businesses across the country far outweighed Pelosi and Schumer’s politically-charged provisions.

“Schumer and Pelosi don’t have a leg to stand on because it’s very clear that the demand for the small business money is going to run out on the 17th of April, and Congress didn’t think big enough when we appropriated that money to get people back to work or to keep them off the unemployment rolls,” he explained. “And, everything else that it seems like Pelosi and Schumer want are things that we still got money in the pot [for] and that we ought to wait and see how this thing plays out before [appropriating] any money.”

“And, for sure, anything that’s not related to the virus and the immediate pandemic and public health issues and the unemployment with the economy should not be thrown in,” Grassley continued. “Like, for instance, federalizing election laws. What does that have to do with the panic?”

What could ‘Phase 4’ coronavirus bill include?

Democrats blocked a $250 billion funding bill on Thursday which would boost a small business loan fund President Trump has been pushing. On Friday, the president renewed his calls for a broad payroll tax cut as a way to ease the economic pain caused by the pandemic after he had previously called for such cuts last month.

The CARES Act, the official name of the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus legislation passed late last month, does allow for employers to defer their payroll tax payments but does not actually cut the levies, which are largely used to fund entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.

“Democrats are blocking a 251 Billion Dollar funding boost for Small Businesses which will help them keep their employees,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “It should be for only that reason, with no additions. We should have a big Infrastructure Phase Four with Payroll Tax Cuts & more. Big Economic Bounceback!”

That aside, lawmakers and the president continue to weigh another much larger package in which the president also wants to include infrastructure spending.

“Well, first of all, every Republican including the President of the United States has stated very clearly to people like Schumer and Pelosi that there’s probably going to have to be a ‘Phase 4’ and that we’ll consider all of these issues at that time,” Grassley added. “But, what they want to do is not as immediately as critical as getting more money for small business and getting people back to work in small business.”

Grassley told Cavuto that there would “clearly” be follow-up spending, but it wouldn’t necessarily be part of an immediate package.

“Even those of us that negotiated the CARES Act…we went into it with our eyes open. That looking back three weeks, ahead three months, that we would not know for sure if this economy [was] going to turn around. And, if it didn’t turn around, then we understood — both Republicans and Democrats — we’d have to revisit it,” he remarked.

Grassley theorized that if conditions were to improve, President Trump’s “infrastructure program” would be “something that’s legitimate to talk about not directly related to the economy the way it is right now.”

“But, those things shouldn’t be mixed up with times when you’re in a crisis like we are in right now,” he concluded.

*story by Fox News