Early this morning, the Senate completed its budget "vote-a-rama," completing the exhausting process of voting on a seemingly endless series of proposals and amendments. Certain measures were adopted on a bipartisan basis, allowing certain Democrats to cast electorally-advantageous 'bipartisan' votes, before being stripped out of the final product by the Democratic majority: "The Democrats’ final amendment stripped out three important bipartisan amendments that were adopted tonight: preventing checks from going to illegal aliens; support for fracking; and support for the Keystone XL Pipeline," according to Mitch McConnell's office. Democrats also killed an amendment that would have ruled out packing the Supreme Court, as well as a provision protecting born-alive infants after failed abortions. Welcome to the Schumer majority. Perhaps the vote that caught my attention more than any other was this one:
Senate Dems defeat amendment to withhold taxpayer $ from public schools that refuse to reopen even after teachers are vaccinated. Astounding. https://t.co/B1mAnII9QC— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 4, 2021
Some teachers unions have shifted their goalposts so far as to embrace a demand that schools not reopen for in-person learning unless and until all teachers are vaccinated. Certain guilds have somehow taken it further, insisting that students must also be vaccinated before in-person instruction resumes (there is no approved COVID vaccine for children, so this criteria is uniquely unrealistic). Senate Republicans put forward an amendment that would block federal funds from flowing to public schools that refuse to open doors to student even after teachers get inoculated. Every single Democrat in the upper chamber chose not to risk crossing the unions, a powerful special interest group that funnels enormous quantities of campaign cash to Democrats. They unanimously voted against the proposal -- which again, applied financial pressure to restart classroom teaching after teachers were immunized. The unholy alliance between the Democrats and their government sector union patrons is deeply harmful to children. It's effective at getting politicians elected, and ensuring that public school teachers aren't held accountable (and in this case, not even doing the job taxpayers are paying them to do), but it's actively hurting students, whose educational and emotional wellbeing seems to be an afterthought for far too many of the self-interested adults in charge.
The Biden administration is also equivocating on science, in order to kowtow to the unions. Dr. Fauci has attested that students are safer from the virus in schools than they are out in the community, a reality that has been reinforced by reams of data. Biden's new CDC director has now twice confirmed that schools can be reopened without teacher vaccinations as a prerequisite -- saying so from the White House podium, and again on national television. The White House's response? Claiming that their top public health expert was only speaking in her 'personal capacity,' not for the agency she leads. Utterly laughable. Imagine President Trump's top experts making unequivocal public statements about a pressing policy concern, only to be overruled by Trump, whose political intervention was then justified by embarrassing spin from Kayleigh McEnany. How would that set of circumstances be received and covered by the media? We'd be in a full-blown "anti-science" panic. No, they have more pressing concerns than speaking truth to power. Biden is only the President of the United States. Far more important, evidently, is obsessively covering a (nutty, poisonous) freshman House back-bencher:
CNN has been covering Marjorie Taylor Greene for hours on end, leaving little airtime for other topics like the COVID stimulus.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) February 4, 2021
One of those issues affects a lot more Americans to a lot greater degree.
As long as they think they can get away with it, these unions are going to double down on surreal selfishness and shamelessness. Chicago teachers are still refusing to show up for work, endlessly racializing their talking points as if the hardest-hit children impacted by their outrageous demands aren't people of color:
But this one may take the cake. Imagine being a parent and taxpayer footing the bill for this:
Fairfax schools says they're going to open up 2 days a week in March for some kids. Wanna know how? They're hiring thousands of unskilled classroom monitors to watch kids watch computer screens because their fully vaccinated teachers won't return to the building. This is nuts.— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 5, 2021
Senate Democrats and the Biden White House are consciously and intentionally enabling this.