House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) introduced a new coronavirus stimulus bill last week that contained a myriad of Democrat pet projects.
Pelosi confirmed the rumors that — though she says she’s willing to negotiate — the legislature is in for a showdown over mail-in voting provisions that Democrats have chosen to prioritize.
Democrats have seized the opportunity presented by the coronavirus crisis to push voting by mail for the 2020 election, and this latest coronavirus stimulus is no exception.
Pelosi said on a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” that pushing through vote-by-mail provisions was one of the “seven hills of Rome,” that House Democrats are “there to make sure prevail when we go to the table” for HEROES Act negotiations.
Pelosi had said just days earlier that House Democrats have “no red lines” when it comes to negotiations with the Senate.
Pelosi’s other six priorities were COVID-19 tests, tracing, and treatment; funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; direct payments and unemployment insurance; OSHA standards; funding for the Postal Service; and SNAP benefits.
However, much of the fight comes down to GOP resistance to what is often characterized as “cheat-by-mail,” with Republican leaders cautioning that the schemes will jeopardize the integrity of our elections more than any foreign government ever has.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said on Sunday that “Her bill would rewrite our immigration laws. Her bill would federalize elections. It would allow federal prisoners to go free. It mentions dope more than it talks about jobs. I think it references cannabis like 68 times. It would expand ObamaCare.”
Senate holds the line
Pelosi has intensified calls for the Senate to take up the bill within the last week, most recently accusing Senate Republicans on Wednesday of “engaging in a clear act of political retribution designed to help the President keep his job” by refusing to consider the proposal as written.
The bill barely passed the Democrat-controlled House by a 208-199 vote, and Senate Republicans immediately dismissed the notion of even considering Pelosi’s proposal at face value.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last week that the bill “reads like the Speaker of the House pasted together random ideas from her most liberal members and slapped the word “coronavirus” on top of it.”
Pelosi was counting on the same urgency that prompted Senate Republicans to rush to approve the CARES act, the highly-flawed coronavirus rescue package passed in late March. However, as the US re-enters a new normal, Pelosi’s attempts to leverage the crisis to accomplish long-held Democrat goals aren’t going anywhere.