Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s projected victory gives Democrats a mandate on the economy

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s projected victory gives Democrats a mandate in Congress to direct economic policy for the country, starting with coronavirus relief.

“What Joe Biden got in this election was a mandate — a mandate to address the challenges that our country faces as well as to have a positive initiative on how to grow the economy in a fair way,” Mrs. Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday. “And in order to do that, we must address the COVID, the pandemic. We must.”

Mrs. Pelosi was joined by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer who told reporters the election gave Democrats the upper hand on coronavirus policymaking.

“This election was more a, maybe more a referendum on who can handle COVID well than anything else,” Mr. Schumer told reporters. “The Donald Trump approach was repudiated, the Joe Biden approach was embraced, and that’s why we think there’s a better chance to get a bill in the lame-duck if only the Republicans would stop embracing the ridiculous shenanigans that Trump is forcing them to do.”

When pressed by reporters on Thursday about whether her position has changed on advancing coronavirus relief legislation, Mrs. Pelosi said, “We’re in the same place, even more so, even more so with the pandemic.”

Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer accused congressional Republicans of losing touch with reality over their willingness to wait and learn the outcomes of election challenges brought by President Trump and his allies rather than accept projections that have already been made.

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