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By their own standards, the House Democrats’ Round 4 “rescue package” is a flop. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set herself up to fail by instructing her caucus and surrogates to insist that Congress prioritize testing, testing, and more testing in future rounds of coronavirus response funding.
At the end of the day, Democrats scrounged up a budget for those tests amounting to less than 1 percent of the $3 trillion package Pelosi introduced this week. Instead of putting their money where their mouth is, they slapped together a leftist wish list dedicated to causes unrelated to the pandemic.
It is a deeply unserious proposal that will never see the light of day in the United States Senate. That, of course, matters little to Pelosi, who knew exactly what was going into the bill before it was ever written. This is why she didn’t bother to call her caucus back to Washington until she was ready for them to rubber stamp an absurd 1,800-page bill most House members had never touched.
Pension bailouts, unsustainable environmental mandates, fundamental changes to tax policy — these are all issues Congress has no business touching during a national emergency. Rather than let a crisis go to waste, however, Pelosi flung all her mud against the barn door and settled in to see what might stick.
For House Democrats, the deepening of America’s economic tragedy presents an opportunity. For families and business owners, however, it has highlighted just how few options most people have left.
You would be correct to assume that Democrats are using Congress’ coronavirus response efforts as a political football, but their appalling behavior reveals much more than an affinity for pet projects. They have shown they’re happy to let the economy fail if it means forcing greater dependency on handouts from Washington.
We don’t have time for this. There is no greater danger to the American people than this complete lack of intellectual honesty masquerading as bold, progressive policymaking.
While Pelosi ignored the millions of business owners, breadwinners, and gig workers struggling to make ends meet, those people started their own honest, and at times difficult, conversations about how and when to reopen the economy. They stopped waiting on Washington to tell them what to do the moment that lockdown policies forced their communities into survival mode. They figured out in a hurry that to keep the economy afloat, they would need access to low-interest loans, regulatory relief, liability protections, and easier access to testing — old priorities the House expected no one to notice had been suddenly relegated to the back burner.
The problem? People did notice. Both chambers of Congress are in for a tough negotiation over the next round of relief spending, but that’s not the battle the left should be concerned about.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, House Democrats have not declared war on Senate Republicans. With this preposterous piece of legislation, they have instead declared war on the American people.