One might think that a full-blown pandemic would motivate Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to put aside their cynical obstructionism and work with their Democratic counterparts to pass needed relief for the American people.
But in a characteristic show of dismissive cruelty, the Senate Majority Leader trashed the House coronavirus relief package as an “ideological wish list,” raising doubts that anything that might actually help people and not just businesses would be able to pass the Senate.
“Unfortunately, it appears at this hour that the Speaker and House Democrats instead chose to produce an ideological wish list that was not tailored closely to the circumstances…One is reminded of the famous comment from President Obama’s first chief of staff: ‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,'” sneered McConnell to reporters.
The “ideological wish list” included such unreasonable and excessive demands like ensuring paid sick leave for coronavirus victims, expanding unemployment insurance, an additional $500 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program to help low-income mothers who have lost their jobs due to the virus, and $400 million for food banks.
According to McConnell, these things are “various areas of policy that are barely related, if at all, to the issue before us.”
Just yesterday, Secretary Sonny Purdue announced that SNAP time limits for able-bodied adults were still going into effect on April 1st, meaning that 700,00 people were going to be kicked off of their SNAP benefits and be forced to go hungry in the middle of a pandemic.
Curiously enough, McConnell did not have any similar complaints about President Trump’s request for $50 billion to bail out various industries — like shale companies — that will suffer losses or a whopping $840 billion payroll tax cut, which in itself is a sneaky way to cut entitlements since payroll taxes are used to fund Social Security.
Senator McConnell is infamous at this point for his ghoulish lack of empathy for the needs of ordinary Americans, but it is still stunning to behold the repulsive condescension he greets any proposal that doesn’t benefit the wealthy and their pocketbooks.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.