Beginning last week and continuing through the weekend, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate worked together to negotiate a massive financial stimulus package intended to shore up the nation’s businesses and workers amid a forced economic shutdown brought on by the new coronavirus pandemic.
As late as Sunday morning, reports indicated that a deal was within reach and votes would soon be held on the nearly $2 trillion legislative package. Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) showed up, declared the negotiated package to be inadequate, issued a set of partisan agenda demands, and effectively killed the whole deal on Sunday afternoon, Breitbart reported.
Now, as millions of workers face unemployment and tens of thousands of businesses stand on the brink of bankruptcy, Congress is in a holding pattern as Pelosi’s House works to put forward a legislative package of its own — full of all sorts of items from the progressive agenda wishlist — instead of working with the Senate to iron out any potential wrinkles of disagreement.
Pelosi kills bipartisan bill
Politico reported that Pelosi has, for all intents and purposes, totally rejected the bipartisan legislation that was put together over several days in the Senate, and is now insisting that the House will move forward on its own with a different legislative package.
Pelosi effectively killed the Senate bill after a high-level meeting on Sunday afternoon involving her and her counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Whether Pelosi ever had any intention of supporting the Senate bill before throwing a wrench into the process on Sunday has now come into question, as Politico revealed that the speaker had already tasked her House Democratic Caucus and committee chairs with working on their own proposals even as the Senate was in the midst of negotiations.
This, even as House Democrats were reportedly in contact with Senate Democrats throughout the negotiations and were, to an extent, involved in the crafting of the massive economic stimulus package.
Unfortunately, while it was becoming fairly clear to the public what the Senate bill would entail — direct cash to individuals and families, hundreds of billions for loans to small and large businesses, financial aid to major industries severely impacted by the shutdowns, and additional funding for hospitals and medical care — the same cannot be said for whatever alternative package is being cooked up by House Democrats, according to Politico.
House Democrats have reportedly held numerous conference calls over the past week where caucus members have put forth forward all sorts of ideas to be included in prospective legislation, only some of which were directly related to an economic stimulus or the coronavirus pandemic.
Indeed, it sure seems like Pelosi and House Democrats have borrowed a page from the playbook of former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who infamously bragged in 2008 about how politicians should “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
It would be nice if, during an unprecedented crisis in this nation, our representatives in Washington could set aside partisan differences in order to help everyone. But that is apparently too much to ask of partisan hacks like Pelosi, who would rather exploit the crisis for political gain.
What a shame.