As unemployment continues to skyrocket and the American people face more and more hardship, Congress is planning a fresh set of relief measures and spending to try to lighten the burden — but once again Republicans are attempting to muscle their own plan through without any input from the minority party.
Senate Democrats announced on Thursday morning that they would be blocking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s new plan for $250 billion in aid for small businesses in order to secure another $250 billion for hospitals, local governments, and food aid.
Monstrously concerned only with the needs of capital, Senate Republicans have turned a cold shoulder to the American people through this entire process, their thoughts and energies focused solely on the resuscitating economy and what they believe to be their best chance to re-elect Donald Trump in November.
House Speaker Pelosi made it clear that even if McConnell got his bill through, it was going nowhere in the House. “I have said very clearly: What they are proposing will not get unanimous consent in the House. There is no reason why they cannot come to the table and see the value of what we are offering…You cannot expect us to ossify inequality in access to capital as we try to fight the coronavirus,” said Pelosi to the Washington Post.
Pelosi on the GOP small business proposal: "I have said very clearly: What they are proposing will not get unanimous consent in the House … You cannot expect us to ossify inequality in access to capital as we try to fight the coronavirus." https://t.co/xdDYcRl86A
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 9, 2020
While its safe to say that some compromise on hospital and SNAP funding can be secured, those looking ahead to November are growing extremely nervous about continuing to push must-pass relief bills through without securing the desperately needed election funding that would allow states to implement widespread early voting and vote-by-mail procedures.
Add your name to reject Trump & Republicans’ vile idea of sacrificing seniors’ lives to save the stock market!
These measures are critical to allowing a free and fair democratic election to be held in the throes of a pandemic, which the Republican Party has absolutely no interest in allowing to happen. We’re only going to get so many bites at the apple, so it’s critical that we use what little leverage we have now to force the Republicans to actually do something to keep not just our population healthy but also the democracy that they ostensibly swore an oath to defend.
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Opinion columnist and former 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.