Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 3, 2021

The Democrats’ Larded Pandemic Lotto

Democrat leaders demand Republicans agree to their demands or they’ll circumvent them to blow $1.9 trillion.

So, what’s in this latest $1.9 trillion COVID-19 “stimulus plan,” and why are Republicans rightly outraged?

The simple answer is that a lot of the Democrat agenda items are unrelated to the China Virus pandemic. As Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) warned, “Democrats are desperate to use this process to achieve any number of policies that will reward special interests while harming America’s working class, increasing the cost of living for American families, destroying jobs and weakening the economy.”

For background, note that a substantial amount of the original $2.9 trillion CARES Act funding has not been spent. Likewise, 80% of the $900 billion in additional funding approved a month ago has not been spent.

In addition to printing $1,400-per-person checks and padding that with a $400-a-week unemployment bonus (a disincentive to return to work), the Dems’ plan includes a massive $350 billion bailout for mismanaged Democrat-controlled states, $130 billion for schools (read: “teachers unions”), $190 billion for minority-owned businesses (constitutionally questionable), and another $35 billion for public and predominately black colleges. In other words, a lot of graft for Democrat constituents.

Speaking of unrelated items, Democrats also tacked on an economy-crippling $15-per-hour minimum wage. The real minimum wage is $0, and struggling businesses can’t hire back more people if it costs them so much more to do so. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2019 that the Democrats’ pitch would kill millions of jobs — and that was before the pandemic.

The Biden/Harris regime extended a phony bipartisan hand, inviting 10 GOP senators for a confab with Joe Biden. The Republicans pitched a bill that is a mere third of the cost of the Democrats’ bill. In a letter to Biden, the GOP senators noted: “In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support. Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities, and with your support, we believe that this plan could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support.”

Following that meeting, Democrat House and Senate leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer began running a campaign essentially against any bipartisan deal, instead demanding that Republicans either get on board or get lost. “President Biden believes, and I agree with him, we need a bold, strong action,” Schumer stated. “Now, we’d like to do that with the Republicans, but if we can’t, we’ll have to go forward on our own using this process, reconciliation.”

There are some wavering Democrat senators, however. Kamala Harris is putting pressure on Joe Manchin (WV) and Krysten Sinema (AZ) in their home states to ensure they toe the party line and Democrats can ram through their $1.9 trillion. However, Manchin has already signaled he will not toe the line: “I’m not going to do it just down the lines, just a party-line vote. It has to make sense.”

By tabbing the legislation with the “reconciliation” label, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) can avoid a filibuster, but he still needs every Democrat vote. As things stand, unless either Manchin or Sinema or both hold fast to their demand on passing a bipartisan relief bill, the Democrats will get their way via reconciliation.

(Updated.)

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