Editorial: End Dems' politicking; pass aid bill today
Americans who are losing their jobs and businesses that are teetering on the edge of collapse need help now. Yet congressional Democrats are holding a $1.8 trillion aid package hostage to their radical agenda.
Heeding again the advice of Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to President Barack Obama, not to waste a good crisis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, is demanding inclusion of a wish list of nearly every Democratic priority. It's the same approach Obama took in 2009, when he pressured Republicans into agreeing to $800 billion in stimulus spending to confront the unfolding Great Recession.
Most of that money went to expand the government, without much impact on the economy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, should not let that happen in confronting the COVID-19 crisis. Democrats are once again spinning the standoff as heartless Republicans favoring corporations over people. That's a lot of B.S. that Americans tired of political shenanigans should easily see through and Republicans should ignore.
Some of the items Pelosi, who inflated the package to $2.5 trillion, wants in the relief package:
- Provisions to increase diversity of the boards of private corporations.
- Mandates to decrease aircraft greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.
- Credits for more wind and solar projects.
- A national $15 minimum wage.
- Collective bargaining for federal workers.
- Funding for community newspapers, free internet and minority-run banks.
- $35 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Not one of those measures or the many others larding up the Democratic package will do a thing to help the laid-off wait staff at the thousands of restaurants across the country that have been forced to close. Not a single Democratic demand will help a struggling manufacturer continue to make payroll while demand for its products plummets.
The proposal from Senate Republicans is targeted and temporary. Those should be the watchwords guiding this process.
America is about to take on a tremendous amount of new debt to help it through this unprecedented challenge. Every dollar should be spent on actual relief; not a dime on ideological opportunism.
Democrats, knock off the nonsense and get a clean bill done today.