Like most of her fellow elected Democrats and many in the mainstream media, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has been reflexively critical of just about every action made by President Donald Trump in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
That near-instinctive opposition to all things Trump was, unsurprisingly, readily evident in response to the president’s recent announcement that U.S. taxpayer funding to the World Health Organization would be temporarily withheld, pending a thorough investigation, because of that organization’s alleged assistance to the Chinese communist regime in covering up and downplaying the extent of the new coronavirus crisis in the crucial early stages of the outbreak.
In lashing out at Trump over the suspension of WHO funding, however, Pelosi left herself wide open for entirely justifiable criticism of her own actions — or rather, inaction — in addressing the dire financial needs of America’s small businesses that are suffering great fiscal harm due to the coronavirus-related economic shutdowns.
On Wednesday, Pelosi issued a scathing statement in response to Trump’s Tuesday announcement about the suspension of funding for the WHO pending a review of its role in parroting and promoting Chinese communist propaganda regarding the new coronavirus.
“The President’s halting of funding to the WHO as it leads the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic is senseless,” the speaker said in the statement.
“We can only be successful in defeating this global pandemic through a coordinated international response with respect for science and data,” Pelosi said. “But sadly, as he has since Day One, the President is ignoring global health experts, disregarding science and undermining the heroes fighting on the frontline, at great risk to the lives and livelihoods of Americans and people around the world.
“This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.”
According to Republican leaders, however, it is Pelosi herself who is “ignoring” and “disregarding” an entirely different set of “heroes” on the frontline of the pandemic: small business owners, who are facing “great risk” of their own in fighting on behalf of the “lives and livelihoods” of themselves and those they employ.
The Hill reported that GOP leaders have taken great issue with the fact that Pelosi has obstinately blocked a narrowly tailored emergency effort to replenish the rapidly depleted funding of the recently created Paycheck Protection Program, which dispenses forgivable federal loans to small businesses so they can continue to pay the salaries of idle workers during government-mandated shutdowns.
That program, created as part of the recently passed $2.2 trillion CARES Act and initially funded with $350 billion, has proven immensely popular and has already been drained of appropriated funding, forcing it to stop accepting applications or dispensing loans even as the demand remains incredibly high.
Republicans had sought to quickly appropriate an additional $250 billion to replenish the program’s funds, but Senate Democrats, backed by Pelosi, blocked the move and demanded that funds also be appropriated at the same time for other programs that, while important in their own right, could nevertheless be adequately addressed later in a broader “Phase 4” package that is being negotiated.
“Democrats have spent days blocking emergency funding for Americans’ paychecks and now the bipartisan program has run dry. This did not have to happen,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said in a joint statement.
“It has been stunning to watch our Democratic colleagues treat emergency funding for Americans’ paychecks like a Republican priority which they need to be goaded into supporting,” the Republican leaders said. “Funding a bipartisan program should not be a partisan issue.
“The notion that crucial help for working people is not appealing enough to Democrats without other additions sends a strange message about their priorities.”
The sharp critique of Pelosi’s partisan gamesmanship was also echoed by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, who accused the speaker and her fellow Democrats of “holding small businesses and workers across America hostage to their endless spending demands.”
Those demands include, among other things, additional funding for the nation’s hospitals, state and local governments experiencing revenue shortfalls, and the food stamp program — none of which is on the verge of running dry and all of which could be readily addressed in the broader legislative package being worked out by the White House and Congress.
“The solution is simple: a clean, standalone funding bill for the PPP. No games, no gimmicks. Democrats must rise to the moment and join Republicans to deliver the critical emergency relief that our small business owners and workers need and deserve,” Scalise said in his statement.
Unfortunately, while Pelosi rails against Trump for suspending taxpayer resources to a dubious globalist institution that sides with communist regimes against the nation that provides the bulk of its funding, her partisan “games and gimmicks” have left U.S. small business owners in the lurch.
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