House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to be the primary obstacle to the Senate Stimulus relief package. The important one that aims to make direct payments to individual citizens. She’s not happy that the Republicans were the side to draft the bill, so she’s throwing a tantrum. She’s having a hissy fit over provisions that dare to help out businesses. Other ranking Democrats are publicly following her lead, but show signs that they would like to get her alone and slap her a few times. A critical vote scheduled for Monday is still on.
Nancy Pelosi blocking stimulus checks
By Friday, Senate negotiators were close to agreement over an emergency spending bill to throw a huge amount of money at the coronavirus crisis. They generally had an agreement that both sides could live with until Nancy Pelosi found out about it. By Saturday, negotiations had broken down. Talks resumed on Sunday but seem no closer to a resolution. “There is no deal yet,” she snarled, vowing to write her own bill. Reuters notes, that’s “something that could significantly draw out the process to finalize legislation.”
This will be the third separate piece of legislation intended to soften the blow on our nation’s economy and it’s the one that American citizens are the most interested in. The package, Reuters writes, is “aimed to include financial assistance for average Americans, small businesses and critically affected industries including airlines.”
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was hopeful that a deal would be forthcoming after further talks. He specifically detailed the package will “include loans for small businesses, direct deposits that could give an average U.S. family of four $3,000 and up to $4 trillion in liquidity for the U.S. central bank to support the economy.” The administration wants to “help a broad base of U.S. businesses get through next 90 to 120 days.” Nancy Pelosi is furious.
Everyone else seems happy with it
Republicans were talking about bipartisan agreement on specific issues on Friday. On Saturday, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, related, “The past two days of intense bipartisan talks are very close to a resolution,” and announced the vote on Monday.
His Democrat counterpart, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer seemed to basically agree. “I’m optimistic we can get a deal.” Then Pelosi heard about it. The House has to approve what gets crafted by the Senate. Suddenly, there were problems.
Rumors started swirling that there were “serious issues.” Then on Sunday afternoon, McConnell “pushed back the timing of the procedural vote from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.” The vote in question “will be on a shell bill McConnell is using as a placeholder until a final deal is reached.” After all the hard work, Democrats “have raised concerns that the stimulus package, which was crafted at the outset by Senate Republicans, prioritizes aid to corporations over aid to American workers.”
Schumer changed his story
By Sunday afternoon, Schumer had gone from basic agreement to outrage, telling reporters that they had “many, many problems.” The bill must be killed because it “included a large corporate bailout provision with no protections for workers and virtually no oversight.”
Elizabeth Warren, affectionately known as Pocahontas, expressed her “great unhappiness.” A $500 billion fund for distressed companies is totally out of the question. “This is not a bipartisan proposal, this is a Republican proposal.”
According to CNN, “Pushback from Democrats has centered on not only the substance of the legislation, but also on the process that Republicans used to come up with it, arguing that they were locked out of negotiations at the start.”
Going into the crucial meeting on Sunday, Pelosi was defiant. “From my standpoint, we’re apart,” Pelosi told the press. Mitch McConnell made it clear that if Pelosi wants to drag her feet the responsibility will be on her head. He’s moving forward to help the people in spite of her. “Make no mistake about it,” he declared. “We’ll be voting tomorrow. I mean, the wheel has to stop at some point, and I don’t want any of you to buy the notion that this isn’t a thoroughly bipartisan proposal already.”