House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks outside her office on Capitol Hill, Monday, March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)It’s almost as if they coordinated their remarks.
Until sometime on Sunday, March 22, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was on board with the stimulus bill being negotiated in the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was consulting with her “hour by hour” and noted his “delight” that there had been “a great deal of bipartisan cooperation thusfar.
That all ended by the end of the day Sunday, after Pelosi jetted back to Washington, D.C. from San Francisco and after it became apparent that multiple GOP senators would be unable to participate in voting because they had either tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus or were in quarantine after being exposed to someone who tested positive.
After a meeting with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Sen. McConnell, Sen. Schumer, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Pelosi “paused negotiations” and announced that the House would be coming up with their own stimulus bill.
Monday morning Guy Benson, Political Editor at our sister site Townhall, tweeted out what a source told him were the Dems’ demands:
Via senior GOP aide, Schumer/Pelosi now pushing these demands amid pandemic-fueled economic collapse:
1) Unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions
2) Increased fuel emissions standards for airlines
3) Expansion of wind and solar tax credits
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 23, 2020
In a press conference a few hours later, Pelosi gave an outline of what her bill contains:
She began her remarks with a disingenuous attack on the Trump administration’s lawsuit to invalidate the (Un)Affordable Care Act, an attack designed only to make worried people even more afraid.
“But right now, in the middle of the coronavirus, the Trump administration is in court suing to tear down the entire Affordable Care Act, every last protection and benefit.”
She then called on Trump to stop this lawsuit right now, essentially, ignoring the fact that his administration and the states involved in the lawsuit argued in a brief to the Supreme Court in January of this year that the case didn’t need to be heard on an emergency basis, but should go through normal procedures at the US District Court level. She also ignored the fact that courthouses throughout the country are only hearing essential cases, mostly limited to bail hearings and other constitutionally required appearances for those who have been charged with a crime and locked up. But, Pelosi has never been one to miss an opportunity to peddle in fear mongering, the truth be damned.
The text of the 1,000 page bill, which contains many of the same provisions found in the GOP bill, has now been released. While it hasn’t been released long enough for anyone to have been able to read it all the way through, according to NPR:
“[It] would prevent corporations from using taxpayer money for stock buybacks, boost unemployment insurance, strengthen the child tax and earned income tax credits, and inject nearly $40 billion into schools and universities to stabilize funding.
“It also directs billions in grant funding for states to carry out this year’s election through the Election Assistance Commission.
Is this going to be another instance in which Pelosi says “We need to pass it to find out what’s in it”? We know what happened the last time Congress did that.
Some of the provisions listed in the House bill should be rejected out of hand, and others could possibly have merit depending on how long all of this lasts. The only reason that exists for Pelosi, Schumer, et al to hold up necessary relief is to take advantage of the crisis to attempt to pack unpopular policies into the bill and accuse Republicans of not helping Americans when they need it most if they balk.
There is no need for a 1,000-page bill. Pass what’s necessary today then come back later.