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House Passes Next Relief Bill
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the $3 trillion coronavirus spending bill that was written and passed by House Democrats Friday night, most people understood that it would be dead on arrival in the Republican controlled Senate. At first glance, this move makes no sense. The bill is the most expensive spending bill ever passed by The House of Representatives.
According to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the bill has 68 references to cannabis, but only 52 references to jobs. There are some strange and impossible-to-explain provisions in this bill.
Here are some of the oddities that are contained in the House bill:
- Providing stimulus money to people who are in the country illegally.
- Providing taxpayer funding for abortions, contrary to the Hyde Amendment, which bars such spending.
- Removing restrictions on voter identification on absentee ballots.
- Providing $1 trillion to states to make up for tax revenues lost due to the coronavirus.
- Providing tax cuts for taxpayers in New York, California and other “deep blue” states.
Republicans already hate the bill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pronounced it dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate. Independents and moderates also find large parts of this bill totally unacceptable.
The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to be delay the vote to give them more time to review the plan. The Speaker basically ignored the letter.
During this unprecedented crisis, it’s hard to understand why Nancy Pelosi and the majority of House Democrats would pass a bill that is unacceptable to almost every Republican and even some of the more moderate and progressive Democrats. The answer is that this bill has more to do with election year politics and fund raising than it does with helping the country to recover from the impact of the coronavirus.
While acknowledging that there may be critics on the left and the right, Pelosi insists that the bill is not partisan. While the bill is certain not to pass in the Senate and President Trump insists that he would veto it if it ever reached his desk, unveiling the legislation now gives Democrats an opportunity to showcase their priorities and outline their legislative vision.
The Senate is not expected to take up this matter until after the Memorial Day recess. The Senate Majority Leader has said that it’s time to hit “pause” on negotiating the next round of coronavirus legislation. Senator McConnell was quoted as saying, “We will let you know when we think the time is right to begin to move again.”
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