What does windmill funding have to do with emergency coronavirus relief legislation? Everything, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The leading Democrat is being excoriated by her Republican colleagues for trying to sneak in some extreme environmental provisions into the CARES Act, phase three of Congress's coronavirus response. She threw in a few electoral power grabs for good measure.
But she has no regrets about her wish list, she explained in a new CNN interview. The current bill, Pelosi argued, is just unacceptable.
"Everything we're suggesting is related to COVID-19," Pelosi insisted. "It's not about the future, it's about COVID-19...It is not changing policy except as it applies here."
But are new emissions standards on airlines really an appropriate thing to ask for today, inquired Dana Bash, considering how Americans need some immediate relief?
"I do think there is a whole concern in our country that if we're giving tens of billions to the airlines that we could at least have a shared value about what happens to the environment," Pelosi tried to reason. "But that is an excuse, not a reason for Sen. McConnell."
Pelosi is also dismayed that the Republicans were not keen on extending family medical leave, or funding food stamps, issues "central to the wellbeing of America's families."
But Republicans like Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) see through Pelosi's agenda because Lord knows we don't need a Green New Deal right now.
"Where does that fit in to a bill to rescue the American people who right now find themselves in the throes of a disease that may kill them and an economy that may be shut down?" he demanded to know Monday on the Senate floor.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer have been meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a daily basis to try and hash out a deal.