Senate members resumed coronavirus relief package discussions yesterday morning in an effort to finalize a bipartisan bill. The economic stimulus bill could inject $2 trillion into the nation’s economy and tide America over until the pandemic is under control and citizens are back to work. But after the proposed legislation was presented to congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blocked it, stopping all resolution, and proposed an alternative list that democrats in congress want to see included on the bill. Is this really a time for partisan negotiations? Pelosi seems to think so.
There are five basic points in the bill that Pelosi definitively rejected. Unemployment insurance would be massively expanded so that any American who lost or will lose their job due to their state’s and employer’s reaction to the coronavirus would receive their full salary from the federal government for 4 – 6 months. Health care would also be covered so that Americans would not accrue overwhelming hospital bills. The federal government would provide businesses with a massive amount of funds in loans to stay in operation and any company that accepts this relief would be prohibited from laying their employees off. Federally backed student loans would not have to be paid for the duration of the pandemic and borrowers would not be penalized.
The bill is far from perfect. Essentially, it pays citizens for not working and the elements associated with keeping businesses afloat are complex and not necessarily beneficial in the long run, but at least the major points of the bill address the economic fallout that is already in full swing.
The bill was rejected outright, however, and progress came to a screeching halt because democrats in the House want the bill to include tax credits for solar and wind energy, provisions to force employers to give special new treatment to big labor, new emissions standards for airlines, and an expansion of Obamacare which would allow the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid to stand.
Pelosi announced to the press that House democrats are unveiling the Take Responsibility for Workers & Families Act, a bill that they say is intended to support the “health and welfare” of American workers.
It’s hard to look past the glaring democratic agenda of this power-move. Is now really the time to block a bill that is designed to help the American people? What does solar and wind energy have to do with providing immediate relief to Americans who have lost their jobs? Why should the bill attempt to tackle the ongoing issue of our carbon footprint?
Is anyone else getting flashbacks of the Green New Deal? Senator Mitch McConnel (R-KY) certainly was. “Democrats won’t let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal,” McConnel argued on the floor Monday afternoon.
A few years ago, the Green New Deal was spearheaded by then-newly-elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The bill called for an assembly of a 15-member “Select Committee” that would “have authority to develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan” to ultimately force the U.S. economy to be “greenhouse gas emissions neutral”. The plan was idealistic and offered virtually no actionable guidelines other than to state that our nation should immediately discontinue the use of airplanes and refrain from eating beef—all those ozone layer eroding cow farts can really add up. Even more delusional than shutting down the airline industry were the socialist ideals embedded in the deal, which were intended to be a solution to the economic inequities of our current system. One line literally stated that the government will financially support citizens “whether they are willing to work or not”.
Democrats rallied in support of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal and the main stream media portrayed AOC as a phenom golden-child for her progressive, idealistic take on the original New Deal, which was implemented during—and likely extended—the Great Depression. But American economists like Robert P. Murphy didn’t agree. In fact, Murphy wrote a series of blogs—Flaws With a Green New Deal—in vehement opposition to the Green New Deal. He also wrote a book about it entitled The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal.
The delusion behind the Green New Deal was fueled by an irrational assumption that if we don’t act now, our beloved planet will be uninhabitable in a mere twelve years.
Today, our economy will be uninhabitable if an economic stimulus package bill isn’t passed in the Senate and House, and signed by the president. Which is more pressing? Which fire should we put out first when there’s only so much water?
We were all hoping for a quick, bipartisan resolution on this stimulus deal, but negotiations have unraveled. The American people will have to wait to receive immediate, and also long-term, relief.
If democrats continue to hold out until their “wish list” is represented on the bill, will republicans eventually cave? Is the economic relief package destined to become the Green Flu Deal?