After months of refusing to negotiate in good faith with Republicans for another round of coronavirus stimulus legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is suddenly interested in getting a deal done, and apparently will accept a fraction of what she previously demanded.
Her rationale is, even for what we’ve come to expect from the 80-year-old, pretty disheartening.
Pelosi is willing to green-light a smaller COVID relief bill in the House which is in the billions, and not in the trillions, in part because, according to her, President Donald Trump lost the election.
PELOSI has held out for a big deal for 6 or so months. She said this morning that now that BIDEN is president, she is willing to do a smaller deal.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 4, 2020
Following the bipartisan passage in March of the CARES Act, which aimed to prevent Americans from going broke while their businesses closed and employees faced layoffs, there was a generally bipartisan consensus that another round of legislation was needed.
But Pelosi always moved the goal posts, no matter how willing the GOP was to meet her in the middle.
The Democrat-run House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, and that bill died on arrival in the Senate, as it should have.
Democrats wanted more money for a seemingly endless number of pet projects, as well as protections for illegal immigrants’ jobs and bailouts for poorly run urban areas. In fact, they even talked of curtailing airplane emissions.
As recently as October, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was still trying to get a deal done with Pelosi, and the White House was willing to spend big through a targeted relief bill to help Americans who have struggled through no fault of their own.
But Pelosi, largely unwilling to meet Republicans halfway, was always negotiating in bad faith.
“While we made a new offer to [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] and [House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy] on Monday, in the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations,” a joint statement from Pelosi and Schumer read.
“Of course, we and others will offer improvements, but the need to act is immediate and we believe that with good-faith negotiations we could come to an agreement,” the statement added.
Pelosi later offered a gut punch for cash-strapped Americans who might have been under the impression one of Washington’s most powerful people had been negotiating to their benefit, citing the election in explaining why she suddenly didn’t need a relief package costing $3 trillion or even one approaching the $2.2 trillion price tag attached to the revised relief bill passed by House Democrats in October.
The House speaker was asked during her weekly news conference Friday what changed that caused her to support a smaller bill. Her answer: The development of a coronavirus vaccine, and the fact that she believes a new president will be sworn in next month.
“That is a total game‑changer: a new president and a vaccine,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript of her remarks on her official website.
“This [bill] has simplicity. It’s what we’ve had in our bills. It’s for a shorter period of time, but that’s OK now, because we have a new president — a president who recognizes that we need to depend on science to stop the virus, a president who understands that America’s working families need to have money in their pockets in a way that takes them into the future, without any of the contraptions of any of the other bills that the administration was associating itself with before,” she added.
Asked why she is on board with an apparently smaller coronavirus package, Speaker Pelosi cites the “game-changer” of vaccine development and Biden’s election. “That’s OK now because we have a new president. A president who recognizes we need to depend on science
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) December 4, 2020
Pelosi further stated she is “very proud” of where Democrats are.
Pelosi: “That was not a mistake; that was a decision that has taken us to a place where we can do the right things without should we say ‘other considerations’ in the legislation that we don’t want … I’m very proud of where we are.” Says she’s proud of the work of her chairs
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) December 4, 2020
Remember this one line: “That’s OK now, because we have a new president.”
This is what Republicans have been dealing with on the other side of the aisle.
Pelosi’s maneuvering and rhetoric all year were for the cameras.
While her constituents suffered, along with people all over the country, the Democrat negotiated for relief on their behalf with the election in mind.
Democrats played politics with the pandemic from the beginning.
It was all they had.
They had no mandate against President Donald Trump, and would be challenging only his personality and his strong economy in November.
But then the coronavirus came along, and no amount of human suffering was apparently enough to convince Democrats to behave humanely and act with dignity.
No matter how much Pelosi talks about the vaccine being a “game-changer,” her demands were never about public health, science or saving small businesses.
Their rhetoric and proposals were always about delaying the passing of a bill until after the election, and the American people should never forget that.
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