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Thomas Gallatin / Mar. 23, 2020

Democrats Derail Senate's $1.8T Relief Bill

Schumer and Pelosi demand more special-interest funding, stoke recession.

At a moment when all Americans need to unite to address the China Virus pandemic and its economic impact, congressional Democrats have elected to play partisan politics.

On Sunday evening, as the Senate was preparing to move forward via a procedural vote on a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threw a last-second wrench in the works. Democrats lined up to vote against moving the bipartisan bill forward, offering the ridiculous excuse that it did too much to help corporations and not enough to help workers. That argument simply doesn’t hold water, as moving the legislation forward would have allowed continued debate.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted as much when he blasted Democrats for obstructing the relief bill. “We had a high level of bipartisanship in five different working groups over the last 48 hours, where members who were participating were reaching agreement,” McConnell said. “And then all of a sudden the Democratic leader and the speaker of the House shows up, and we’re back to square one.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had conferred with Schumer hours before the Senate vote in a clear effort to derail the bill, as she and Schumer work to create the false narrative that Democrats are the ones most looking out for American interests. The truth is they are still seeking to exploit a crisis to tank the economy with the hopes of reaping political benefit.

McConnell noted the negative economic toll the Democrats’ obstruction play would have, pointing to the fact that the market was almost certain to suffer another terrible day Monday. He concluded, “The notion that we have time to play games here with the American economy and the American people is utterly absurd.”

While the growing economic pain is hitting home for millions of Americans, Democrats are exploiting the crisis to push their own political agenda. And don’t forget that these lawmakers, many of whom are millionaires like Pelosi and Schumer, continue to collect their paychecks. How about Congress forego their paychecks until the China Virus crisis has passed?

Even The New York Times was surprised by the Democrats’ sudden obstructionist move, worriedly noting, “In voting to block action, Democrats risked a political backlash if they are seen as obstructing progress on a measure that is widely regarded as crucial to aid desperate Americans and buttress a flagging economy.”

What may have ignited the Democrats’ gambit is recent polling showing President Donald Trump’s approval rating rising as he has worked tirelessly and in a bipartisan effort to address the pandemic. As Power Line’s Steven Hayward observes, “[Democrats] are in a panic about the fact that Trump’s approval ratings are rising at the moment, and they are desperate to keep Trump from having a ‘win’ on policy amidst this crisis. A package will pass, probably soon, and while it may have many defects and require many sequels, the political interests of Democrats demands that they delay and degrade the process as much as possible to diminish Trump. I doubt this would be happening if it was a year ago, or a year from now. But it’s election year, and deranged Democrats are desperate.”

McConnell plans to hold a second vote to move forward on the Senate’s stimulus legislation later today, but the markets already plunged this morning, which is exactly what Schumer, Pelosi, and company wanted.

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