Over the past few weeks, as both chambers of Congress work to pass economic relief legislation for Americans during COVID-19, Democrats have used the crisis as an avenue to include far-left provisions on their ideological wish-list, in the packages. As House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) so eloquently put it, Democrats view the urgent legislation as an opportunity to make ideological advances:
“This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” Rep. Clyburn said.
Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also have a list of demands for relief legislation. As the next phase of the CARES Act, the bipartisan coronavirus relief package, is negotiated, Democrats continue to play partisan games.
Sen. Schumer seems to have set an example for his Senate candidates, many of whom have used COVID-19 to fundraise or criticize GOP opponents. North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, who was bankrolled by Sen Schumer’s Super PAC, admitted that he would like to see provisions of the Green New Deal present in the next relief package, during a virtual town hall:
QUESTION: I appreciate you answering questions earlier about climate change, that's just critical that we address it. Mr. Biden is calling on trying to include some elements of the New Deal package into the next congressional relief funding. Do you think that's feasible? And I'd love that.
CUNNINGHAM: So I suspect that Congress is going to act or need to act many times. What was just passed was really an effort to do a stop gap measure. What I think needs to come next, and part of the reason for the op-ed that I'm writing, is we are experiencing tremendous job losses right now, as many people know and I hear about them every time I do one of these events, and we're going to need to do some meaningful investment...So I know that there are a lot of aspirational ideas. Some of them have been called Green New Deal, some of them have different labels associated with them. I know that what we do as a Congress, whatever investments we make, need to embrace environmental principles. And so whatever comes next, we can do meaningful investments - wind, and solar, and broadband, and other infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads bridges - and when we create those jobs, when we make those investments, we need to be mindful of making sure that we are mitigating our carbon impacts and that we are driving toward what I've called for, and that is a carbon neutral economy by the year 2050, by cutting our carbon impacts in half by the year 2030, and all of those things that will put us back on a path to meeting the Paris Climate goals, which we should be back in and not have taken ourselves out of.
As Republicans continue to remind Democrats, a global health pandemic is not the time for partisan games. Americans suffering due to the economic repercussions of COVID-19 deserve real economic relief without partisan strings attached.
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