Rising

Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics'

Shahid Buttar, the Democratic candidate running to unseat Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday, said Thursday that her unwillingness to accept a smaller deal than what she has proposed for a coronavirus stimulus package amounts to "a privilege of politics."

"The Speaker's unwillingness to accept a stimulus deal that was three times what passed in the Obama administration after the 2008 financial crisis, seems to me to be a privilege of politics over the needs of the American people," Battar said on Hill.TV's "Rising."

"It's entirely consistent with her pattern of rhetoric before reality and rhetoric diverging from reality," the California congressional candidate continued. "It amazes me, frankly, that she's gotten away with it."

California in 2019 adopted a primary election system in which the top two candidates among all parties advance to the general election, with Buttar facing off against the Democratic heavyweight on Nov. 3.

The challenger's criticisms of the Speaker come as Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have hit a wall in their talks over another round of emergency coronavirus relief, seemingly abandoning the negotiations with less than a week to go until Election Day. 

Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol Thursday that she won't accept "a small bill" that lends huge tax cuts to the wealthy without providing enough aid for struggling families, small businesses, health care providers and unemployed workers. 

Watch Buttar's interview above.