“America will soon be open for business,” president Trump said in his Monday press conference. The nation was not going to “let the cure be worse than the problem,” so Congress needed to “stop playing games,” and pass the coronavirus response bill now in the Senate.
On Saturday, the president said it could be a done deal. On Sunday, Senate minority leader Charles Schumer announced that Democrats wanted to move forward with bipartisan agreement, but as it turned out they didn’t.
Schumer called the package “a large corporate bailout provision with no protections for workers and virtually no oversight.” Failed presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, still in the Senate despite decades of fraudulently claiming to be Cherokee, explained, “this is not a bipartisan proposal. This is a Republican proposal.”
Also on Sunday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that she may not support the stimulus bill, which has grown to approximately $2 trillion. Pelosi said there was no agreement and the House would introduce its own bill.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell noted that Pelosi was “the speaker of the House, not the speaker of the Senate,” and until her intervention the process was moving forward. The vote came in 47-47, 13 short of the 60 votes Republicans needed.
“The American people are hurting, the clock is ticking,” said North Dakota Republican Kevin Cramer said in a statement. “ My colleagues on the other side of the aisle should worry more about getting relief to their constituents and less about the House Speaker’s partisan wish list.”
If Republicans were not able to act on Monday, said McConnell, “it will be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dicker when the country expects us to come together and address the problem.”
On Monday the vote came in 49-46, with McConnell accusing the Democrats of “mindless obstruction,” with a longer list of demands. The Democrats want new collective bargaining powers for unions, stricter emissions standards for airlines, automatic extension of nonimmigrant visas, a ban on colleges from providing citizenship information, and a return of the “Obamaphone” giveaway program. And so on.
“The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games,” said South Dakota Republican John Thune. “This bill is about workers, families, people out there hurting economically.”
For her part, Nancy Pelosi charged that Senate Republicans’ bill “puts corporations first, not workers and families.” According to her statement on Monday, House Democrats would “unveil a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers: the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.”
Pelosi and Schumer, responded Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, “are willing to risk your life, your job, your retirement savings for your job, for a radical, left-wing wish list that has nothing to do with this virus.” For Maine Republican Susan Collins, Democrats’ efforts to delay were “disgraceful.” As Democrats stall the package, Republicans Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Scott and Cory Gardner are in quarantine.
Also on Monday, Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden joined the fray from a studio set up in his home. “Trump keeps saying he is a wartime president, well, start to act like one,” the former vice president said. “Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus, but he does bear responsibility for our response.” For Biden, President Trump and Mitch McConnell were “offering a plan to let big corporations off the hook.”
Democrats have been predicting an imminent economic crisis from virtually the moment Trump was elected,” observed former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik. “Now, as the novel coronavirus sows panic in the markets, the president’s opponents are hoping they’ve finally found a way to hamstring the strong and growing American economy.” The Democrats, Kerik wrote, are not willing to “let a good crisis go to waste.”
Biden, Schumer and Pelosi aside, the first Democrat to deploy coronavirus against President Trump was Denver city councilwoman Candi CdeBaca (sic) a member of Democratic Socialists of America. As she explains, “I don’t believe that our current economic system actually works. Capitalism, by design, is extractive, and in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited.”
The Denver socialist had been told that Cuba was “this evil, uncivilized place because it was communist.” But on her trip, “I saw that this was one of the most educated populations in the world. This was an entire country that really rests on the weekends, because they don’t believe in rampant consumerism.”
During the last week of February Candi CdeBaca tweeted, “For the record, if I do get the coronavirus I’m attending every MAGA rally I can.” With that brand of hostility on display, Democrat efforts to delay the coronavirus response bill come as no surprise.
“This is a medical problem, and we will not let it become a financial problem,” President Trump said Monday. “Our country will be stronger than ever before.”
A deal on the stimulus package, the president said, was “fairly close, but we’ll have to see what happens.”
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