The Senate was all set on Sunday to finalize and potentially vote on a massive economic stimulus package in response to the new coronavirus pandemic — until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) showed up to criticize the legislation and offer her own bill, causing Senate Democrats to vote to block the measure and force further negotiations.
The proposals from Pelosi, however — much of which had little to do with the coronavirus or economic stimulus — ended up being far more worthy of criticism than the initial Senate package, prompting one Republican senator to characterize the speaker’s demands as a “Disney World wish list” of leftist agenda priorities, Fox News reported.
Pelosi wish list stalls stimulus
In a Tuesday morning interview on Fox’s America’s Newsroom with host Sandra Smith, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was asked what was the main thing holding up progress on the continuing negotiations of the Senate bill, which was estimated to total around $2 trillion altogether.
“The one major sticking point is Nancy Pelosi’s interruption of all of this,” Cramer said. “She came into town proposing her own deal that is a Disney World wish list instead of a reality check, and [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer [D-NY] yielding to her, quite frankly.
“I think it’s time for the Senate to be the Senate and Chuck Schumer has to pull up his big-boy pants and take control of his own conference instead of letting her have control of it,” he continued.
“And I think that is the biggest sticking point,” Cramer said. “We have to stop this at some point because — just think of this, we lost two days, Sandra, unnecessarily doing this, and when you extrapolate those two days out and you consider what will those two days be worth a week from now, or two weeks from now, as this thing gets worse, and everyday lives are lost, people get sick, people are losing their jobs, and the urgency seems to be lost on this speaker.”
Resumption of negotiations
Cramer went on to note that the negotiations and compromises between Senate Republicans and Democrats had been moving along just fine until Pelosi threw a wrench into the mix. “With regard to their arguments, remember, Democrats were at the table — at a safe distance across from Republicans — hashing this stuff out. There’s a lot in there for companies for sure, but, there’s a lot in there for workers and, by the way, companies hire workers,” he said.
The Republican also noted that some of the disagreements highlighted by Democrats were “legitimate” and signaled his support for some of the more contentious issues, such as the need for more funds for unemployment claims by laid-off workers — though he cautioned that the bill needed to incentivize companies to keep workers employed rather than provide an incentive to lay workers off.
Separately, Fox News reported that the Senate and the White House had finally reached a deal late Tuesday night on a stimulus package totaling around $2 trillion that was thought could be voted on at some point Wednesday. However, it remained unclear when Pelosi’s House would consider or hold a vote on the emergency funding measure.
Another failed gambit
Ironically, according to unnamed Republican sources involved in the negotiations, the final deal reached by the Senate and White House was remarkably similar to the deal that was nearly reached on Sunday, meaning Pelosi’s delay was, for all intents and purposes, useless and unproductive for Democrats.
It was explained that virtually all of Pelosi’s — and by extension, Schumer’s — far-left progressive policy demands and outrageous requests for “pork” spending that had next to nothing to do with the coronavirus crisis were cast aside and all that was added into the bill were marginal measures that Republicans generally supported and could have been added to the bill on Sunday without all of the commotion and delay.
“To sum up, Senator Schumer delayed life-saving aid to medical professionals and significant relief for families and small businesses in order to claim credit for wins that are either bipartisan or Republican ideas,” a Republican aide said. “Stay tuned for all the unrelated wish list items Congressional Democrats demanded and Republicans stopped.”