While millions of Americans continued to suffer due to COVID-19 lockdowns, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sat on a bill that promised economic relief. Now the GOP is putting the hammer down.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Pelosi’s “all-or-nothing strategy backfired” as Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives while holding out for a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, the Washington Examiner reported.
Pelosi maintained that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory will bolster their position, ignoring her party’s losses in the House that have brought their majority within a razor-thin margin.
In May, the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act that even Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) called “dead on arrival” in the Senate for its lack of bipartisan support, deeming it a Democratic “wish list.” It included another costly stimulus, including for illegal immigrants, as well as vote-by-mail and early voting provisions that had no business in a coronavirus relief package.
McConnell and other Republicans sought a more targeted approach with a lower $500 billion price tag, which Pelosi’s spokesman predictably mischaracterized.
“For six months, Democrats have been pressing Republicans to agree to the next round of coronavirus relief, and for six months, Leader McConnell has insisted on a ‘pause,’ while the White House’s negotiators accused vulnerable families of lying about not being able to pay the bills,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammil told the Examiner.
“The speaker of the House spent the entire summer and the entire autumn literally gambling with the health and welfare of the American people,” McConnell fired back Monday in a speech from the Senate floor. “She gambled that if American families didn’t get any more relief before the election, her party would expand its majority in the House and Democrats could continue demanding the right to remake all of society along far-Left lines, in exchange for not passing any more COVID relief whatsoever.”
The American people need more help now. Congress should deliver more COVID relief this year.
Even House and Senate Democrats are publicly saying that Speaker Pelosi’s and Leader Schumer’s all-or-nothing obstruction needs to stop.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 30, 2020
According to Fox News, McConnell made that address in the hopes of getting a relief packaged passed before Congress adjourns on Dec. 21. Regardless of the cost, any package would have to include provisions for vaccine distribution as well as help for school districts and small businesses impacted by virus closures. The longer Democrats dig in their heels, the longer regular Americans suffer.
“For months, Republicans have tried to make bipartisan progress on huge areas of COVID relief where there’s no disagreement,” McConnell had tweeted Nov. 18. “Vaccine distribution funds. Another round of the PPP for hard-hit small businesses. But Democrats blocked it all over their unrelated liberal wish-list.”
Despite their significant losses in what was supposed to be a year that ushered in a “blue wave,” Democrats seem undeterred in their holdout for a bloated coronavirus relief package. It’s clear that they will stop at nothing — including standing by as Americans lose their lives and livelihoods — to get it done.