Democrats derail coronavirus relief bill, see chance to ‘restructure’ USA to ‘fit our vision’
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bipartisan legislation to provide temporary relief to Americans put out of work by coronavirus lockdowns across the country came crashing down Sunday after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled to Senate Democrats that she wanted to write her own version.
Among the provisions of the $1.6 trillion Senate bill were $75 billion for hospitals across the country and $1,200 checks to every American making below $75,000 a year, as well as financial aid to businesses that have been forced to indefinitely shut down in the interest of containing the virus’ spread.
Ahead of a Senate vote on the package, Pelosi announced Sunday that she wants to draft her own plan instead of presiding over House feedback to the Senate version. “From my standpoint, we’re apart,” Pelosi said of her outlook for an agreement between the two parties. “We'll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible.”
Following Pelosi’s announcement, the vote on the Senate bill failed at 47-47, the Daily Caller reports.
Democrats have publicly complained that the Senate bill needs additional provisions for food stamps, expanded emergency leave, and unemployment insurance. But reports emerged Monday that Democrats are also pushing for the inclusion of measures entirely unrelated to the coronavirus response, including “unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions,” “increased fuel emissions standards for airlines,” and “expansion of wind and solar tax credits.”
A review of Pelosi’s draft released Monday reveals that her proposal also calls for same-day voter registration, early voting, a bailout for the US Postal Service, and more:
Pelosi's #COVID19 bill is 1,119 pages and contains provisions for "conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections" so yeah it's really very focused on the crisis at hand.����♀️ pic.twitter.com/Q6axBi14lZ— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) March 23, 2020
The demands echo Democrat House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s comments earlier this week that the crisis presents a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” Democrats previously tried and failed to use the relief package to establish what White House officials called a “slush fund” for abortion reimbursements, an idea that could be revived in Pelosi’s new bill.
Senate Republicans responded by excoriating Democrats for risking “your life, your job, your retirement savings” with their “game of chicken”:
Our nation cannot afford this game of chicken. We cannot afford the cynical partisanship.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 23, 2020
This is a national emergency. Not a partisan opportunity.
Doctors, nurses, small business employees, laid-off Americans, and vulnerable seniors need help right now. pic.twitter.com/zXPqodt8ZI
This report is correct. Pelosi & Schumer are willing to risk your life, your job, your retirement savings for a radical, left-wing wish list that has nothing to do with this virus. Disgraceful. https://t.co/le9jlTB4KH— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 23, 2020
The Daily Caller notes that the New York Times initially reported the story under the headline, “Democrats Block Action on $1.8 Trillion Stimulus,” but twice revised it in ways less negative toward the Democrat Party – first by presenting a sympathetic justification in “Democrats Block Action on Stimulus Plan, Seeking Worker Protections”; then by cutting reference to the Democrats entirely with “Partisan Divide Threatens Deal on Rescue Bill.”