Democrats and Republicans in Congress are still fighting over the stimulus package. Last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (a Republican from Kentucky) tweeted,
“Senate Republicans are closely tracking the implementation of our historic CARES Act as the Administration puts it into effect for the American people. We are committed to supporting American workers, families, and small businesses as our nation confronts this historic emergency.”
The initial bill was stymied by Democrats on the floor when they attempted to stuff it full of “diversity” clauses which would have hurt many of the people who need it most. It also added arbitrary regulations to curb climate change, which most Americans agree has precisely nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
McConnell also commented last week that he and Nanci Pelosi have different points of view regarding the timing of the bill, saying that he was not in favor of looking for a rushed solution.
Now, Pelosi has changed her tune about much of the additional pork that her party wanted to attach to the bill, and decided to focus more on raising the amount paid to laid-off, underemployed, unemployed, or otherwise struggling Americans.
Pelosi delivered comments to CNBC on Friday, suggesting that she thought the bill needed a clean slate.
“While I’m in favor of doing what we need to do to meet the needs of clean water, more broadband and the rest of that, it may have to be for a bill beyond this one,” she said. “I think right now we need a fourth bi-partisan bill — and I think the bill could be very much like the bill we just passed.”
Bloomberg has noted that this shift in position has left an estimated $800 billion in infrastructure planning up in the air.
Pelosi went on to say, “I’d like to go right back and say let’s look at that bill let’s update it for some other things that we need, and again put money in the pockets of the American people.”
Of course, it cannot go unnoticed that the position of Pelosi and her party before this shift in focus amounted to political suicide. From the beginning of the crisis triggered by the pandemic, Trump was the first to advocate for a bill that would fund relief to struggling Americans who are not permitted to go to work. He has stated multiple times that he is concerned about out of work people who are unemployed to no fault of their own. Trump has also expressed an interest in letting Americans go back to work as quickly as possible.
“America is not made for this,” the president said. “People want to work. They need to work.”
So, it’s clear that to take an opposing view would be poison for the Democrats. This alone is enough to explain Pelosi’s sudden change of heart. But what we will be watching for in the coming days are more underhanded attempts by the Democrats to stall the stimulus, and to stuff it full of socialist pork.