From promising vaccines, to non-promising politics. On Friday night, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a preposterous $3 trillion piece of legislation they claimed was designed to provide needed pandemic relief. As Republicans have been noting for days, it's an unserious bill that has zero chance of becoming law, and it was so wasteful and frivolous that a sizable contingent of Speaker Pelosi's own caucus crossed party lines to vote against it. Politico got it right with this unusually frank assessment, published pre-passage:
A new coronavirus bill...will cost trillions of dollars. Neither this bill nor anything resembling it will ever become law -- it’s a Democratic wish list filled up with all the party’s favored policies. But it's a marker that Peloisi's House is planning to lay down...Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have made their priorities clear.
Correct. Those priorities include a massive windfall to state and local governments, much of it virtually unrestricted, while extending anti-work provisions, reshaping elections (including weakening voter integrity measures), tax cuts for the rich in high-tax blue states, and...diversity-related requirements for cannabis businesses. Somehow, the word "cannabis" appears more times than "jobs" in the 1,800-page document. Oh, and they also included cash payments to illegal immigrants:
198-209: House defeats Republicans efforts to prevent anyone without a Social Security number (undocumented immigrants) from receiving $1,200 COVID-19 pandemic relief payments mostly along party line vote. 13 Democrats for Yes on GOP MTR. Vote lasted 67 minutes. pic.twitter.com/FHRpwTKsuF— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) May 16, 2020
Only a baker's dozen among the House Democratic majority could bring themselves to vote to bar illegal immigrants from getting direct checks from the government. Prominent freshman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) summed things up rather well during the floor debate:
The American people must be looking at Congress and asking: “is this a joke?”— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) May 16, 2020
Nancy Pelosi kept the House in hiding for weeks while the country was in crisis. All while drafting a partisan messaging bill they knew was never going to become law.
Stop the games. Start governing. pic.twitter.com/cV49Cgf5au
This was not a true or good-faith effort at governance, unlike the process we've seen play out in the Senate. It was a vote to appease the progressives, to manufacture a talking point about Republicans 'obstructing' relief because they won't pass this monstrosity, and to signal what things will look like if Democrats win control of the federal government in the fall. The Wall Street Journal editorial board weighs in:
House Democrats introduced their latest coronavirus relief bill on Tuesday, and the way to understand its breadth and $3 trillion cost is that it has little to do with fighting Covid-19. This is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s agenda for 2021 when she expects that Democrats will run the entire government and she’ll be the de facto President. The Speaker ran the legislative show in 2009-2010 when Democrats last controlled all of Congress and the White House, and she’ll be even more powerful if Joe Biden wins in November...There’s so much more that the bill’s executive summary runs to 90 pages...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismisses the bill as unserious, and he’s right in that it won’t pass unless Donald Trump caves. But it’s deadly serious as a campaign agenda for this year, and a governing outline for 2021. If Republicans want to stop this, they’d better start educating voters that these are the election stakes if Democrats win in November.
Ahead of November, I'll leave you with a reminder of the overwhelming public relations advantage Democrats enjoy from the media, which goes well beyond the traditional liberal biases of political journalists:
It’s his show & he can do whatever he wants. FYI:— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 16, 2020
Colbert guests (D) in April & May: Cuomo, Schumer, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, 3 Pod Bros, Michael Moore, Bernie, Pelosi.
Colbert guests (R) in April & May: ?? https://t.co/EOHXnAB2PH