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Carpe Diem: Texas relief offers Dems unique chance he can’t pass up

Carpe Diem: Texas relief offers Dems unique chance he can’t pass up

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We are witnessing a historic opportunity for Democrats to add major legislative priorities to the covid package and pass it through regular order in a sharply divided Senate.

Major laws like the $15 minimum wage, The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and the H.R. 1 democracy reform bill are unlikely to be included in any bill that passes through the use of the Senate’s reconciliation powers that allow passage of budget bills with only 50 votes. But passing any of the Biden Administration’s platform to a Covid package that passes the Senate with 60 votes would be a huge victory the American people address the major crisis our nation is facing.

That’s why if Democrats are really serious about the politics of unity, then they have to tie one or more of Biden’s bills and the relief Texas needs into the President’s covid relief bill, which all of America needs by this March.

Passing all three Biden priorities would be a grand slam for democracy, good government, and guaranteeing wage for an honest day’s work. Consider that even Florida’s “red state” voters passed a constitutional amendment to raise their minimum wage to $15 with over 60% of the vote while also voting for Trump, so these are bipartisan ideas that are popular. Wouldn’t those same voters appreciate more access to the ballot box too?

I want to be clear. I fully support Congress giving Texas everything it needs to recover from this crisis.

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That said, there should be strings attached.

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Whether it is Texas connecting to the national grid or the adopting of the enforceable federal standards every other state has adopted.

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The Republic of Texas is recovering from a calamity of epic proportions and needs assistance. Many experts believe that the price tag for the recovery effort from broken pipes and ruined homes will top the $19 Billion spent after 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

Furthermore, unlike most catastrophes, the crisis in Texas can be blamed solely on bad decisions made by Republican lawmakers starting from the time former President Bush was the state governor and up through the present. The GOP has maintained top to bottom control of the Lone Star state for three decades and wholly owns this week’s toxic brew of deadly power outages and five-figure electric bills.

This creates an interesting dilemma for Senate Republicans who have spent the past six months objecting over state and local relief that Democrats, and Governors from both parties, want to see included in the plan.

In fact, Texas’ crisis is the exact situation Republicans have sworn up and down that they don’t want to bail out.

Yet, Texas needs help now.

And so do the other 49 states. State and local governments can hardly be blamed for the economic calamity of covid, no matter how hard Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz pretends that it is their fault and not Donald Trump’s fault for surrendering to the ravages of the viral pandemic.

Since there’s no chance they won’t support relief for Texas, the new Democratic Senate majority must make Republicans support relief across the board.

Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz should whip votes from their fellow Republicans for the full $1.9 trillion packages plus the add-on for their home state.

This situation didn’t occur because of bad weather.  Ever hear of Alaska? It gets pretty cold there, but their power plants work because they are regulated like every other state in the nation except Texas.

That’s what makes this such a golden opportunity for Democrats to shine a light on how ridiculous Republicans are.

They can not allow them to paint this as an act of God.

This wasn’t a mammoth hurricane.

It was two inches of snow.

Could you imagine if the power went out in Vermont, home of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, every time they got two inches of snow? We would have far fewer Ben & Jerry’s, and I would be 5 lbs lighter, that’s for sure.

Had Texas been more like any other state, Red or Blue, this wouldn’t have occurred.

The power of the purse is the only way we’re going to break the Senate’s perpetual filibuster against civil rights laws and economic justice for every resident of the United States.

It’s rare you get to see a real-time example of blatant political hypocrisy like Ted Cruz, even after the former guy really set the standards for behavior at the very lowest level possible. Handing out bottled water isn’t going to cut it for the people of Texas, who deserve a lot better.

On second thought, maybe the Texas deep freeze will be an act of God if it gets Ted Cruz and nine more of his Republican colleagues to finally make a bipartisan compromise and vote for anything instead of hypocritically serving his narrow needs to clean up a problem of their party’s own making after notoriously blocking disaster aid in other parts of the country.

I will explore this topic further in my podcast Tuesday.  I hope you will listen and let me know what you think.

Christopher Hahn is a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the most aggressive Liberal commentator on Fox News.  Follow him on Twitter, @ChristopherHahn.

Download and Subscribe to the Aggressive Progressive Podcast with Chris Hahn on the iHeart Radio App, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcast.  New episode every Tuesday.

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