(RightWing.org) – Millions of Americans are out of work, unemployment benefits are about to expire for millions more, and some Democratic-led states are shutting down again. Suddenly, prominent Democrats are admitting they allowed Americans to suffer needlessly for political gain. It’s the type of hypocrisy that leaves many Americans cynical of politicians and the political process.
Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was ready to allow a bill a fraction of the size of the HERO’s Act she fought against for months to pass the House. President Donald Trump accused Pelosi of negotiating in bad faith throughout the fall. In turn, Pelosi and Democrats accused Republicans of stalling a COVID-19 relief bill. Apparently, he was right, and Pelosi was wrong.
Pelosi Backs Smaller Stimulus Bill
Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators proposed a $909 billion COVID-19 relief package. That’s far less than the nearly $3 trillion HEROES Act that House Democrats passed last spring. In the fall, Republicans offered $1.9 trillion, but a deal fell apart when Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) refused to budge from $2.2 trillion days before the election.
The new proposal doesn’t have a $1,200 direct payment to Americans. Other than that, there aren’t a lot of details as of Tuesday morning, December 8. It appears Congress is open to extending unemployment benefits to include self-employed and gig workers. Additionally, reports suggest a $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit could be added as well. It could also include an extension and increases to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Under pressure from moderates in the party, Pelosi appears to be buckling and now supports the bi-partisan proposal. The reason… Pelosi said it’s because America has a “new president.” When questioned about the controversial statement, the Speaker said she was “proud of where we are,” and further said rejecting the Trump administration’s deal before the election was not a mistake.
Several Democrats Disagree With Pelosi
A leader in the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus disagreed with Pelosi. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said a few weeks ago that “It’s outrageous that we didn’t (get the deal done). I think it was really foolish… I wish we could get that deal today.”
However, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spilled the beans about the stalling of the negotiations and disagreed with the Democratic narrative that Republicans were to blame. On Monday, December 7, the Vermont Senator was asked if it was a mistake to walk away from the $1.9 trillion deal offered by the White House in late October. Answering the question from CNN’s Jake Tapper, Sanders conceded that Democrats stalled the relief bill and said, “That’s right. … That’s what I’m saying.”
Sanders took it even further and said that the current deal gives Democrats nothing and Republicans everything they wanted. The socialist senator criticized the current proposal for not including the $1,200 direct payment to Americans and said he would fight to ensure it’s included in a final bill.
Will Democratic leadership face any consequences from constituents for their admission?
That remains to be seen.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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