In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic sweeping America, Republicans — led by President Donald Trump — suggested using a vast arsenal of government resources to soften the blow to the U.S. economy.
Republicans suggested sending direct cash to American workers — a so-called “Trump Check” — while also guaranteeing loans to keep paychecks going for businesses that needed to close temporarily.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. seized on the opportunity. Rushing back to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, she quickly undid a weekend’s worth of good faith negotiations between bipartisan leaders.
Critics have accused Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of exploiting the virus pandemic to secure a “liberal Christmas in March” for special interest groups across the country.
By Tuesday afternoon, the huge $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill had ballooned to a jaw-dropping $2.5 trillion behemoth.
The Democrat-backed bill still includes a (reduced) one-time “Trump Check” payment to taxpayers, as well as critical money for forgivable small business loans.
But stuffed inside the bill is also a $300,000,000 payout to foreign refugees outside American borders, a revival of the controversial “Obamaphone” program that was “rife with fraud,” and at least 32 pricey “diversity initiatives” to further regulate private companies.
And that’s just the beginning.
The bill stuffed in $35,000,000 in “funding for the Kennedy Center — a performing arts center in Washington, D.C. — the elimination of the U.S. Postal Service’s debt to the treasury, a requirement that airlines accepting assistance under the bill have a union representative on their board, environmental regulations for airlines and more,” Fox News reported Tuesday.
Pelosi’s bill includes $300,000,000 for the National Endowment of the Arts, another $300,000,000 for the National Endowment of the Humanities, and $10,000 of student loan forgiveness for every person in debt in America.
The list goes on and on.
Critics have expressed shock (and, in the case of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., visible anger) at what they’re calling short-sighted exploitation of an unprecedented national emergency.
Speaker Pelosi's #coronavirus bill includes:
-Provisions for a federal takeover of elections
-A climate change study on aviation
-Intrusive corporate diversity reporting burdens
Seriously? Now is the time to help struggling Americans, not play swamp politics with virus aid. pic.twitter.com/k2QDIcc8hP
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) March 23, 2020
The American economy needs an emergency action by the federal government, but Democrats have taken American lives as “political hostage” to secure a massive wish list of far-left government spending initiatives, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote.
There is hope among Republican leadership that a much-needed stimulus deal can still be struck.
“I believe we are on the five-yard line. It’s taken a lot of noise, a lot of rhetoric to get us here,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “I hope today is the day this body will get it done.”
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