Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is reportedly refusing to consult with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid package and is currently drafting a far-left version that includes a massive $750 billion chunk of bailout money for long-time struggling blue states.
The aid package focuses on providing what Democrats claim are “much needed” funds to states and cities laboring under massive debt, But Pelosi’s refusal to work with Republicans virtually guarantees that this package –at least in its current state – will never make it through congress.
According to reports, Pelosi does not even appear to be taking Republican advice into consideration.
Republican lawmakers have been very open about the fact that they have yet to be consulted, let alone invited to collaborate, on Pelosi’s multi-trillion dollar bill.
“Bipartisan meetings, which have driven previous aid bills toward passage, are on pause,” the Wall Street Journal says. “Larry Kudlow, a top economic adviser to Mr. Trump, said Friday that formal negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package wouldn’t resume until late May or early June.”
“We’ve really not been invited into those discussions yet,” one Republican legislator admitted to the outlet.
Pelosi’s stinginess in collaboration has led to speculation that she is trying to conceal the true contents of the bill for as long as possible, hoping to strategically unveil them at a time she and her fellow Dems see fit.
Others have suggested that this move by Pelosi might just be an attempt to fabricate an opportunity to point the finger at Republicans, looking to cast blame on them for failing to pass another highly anticipated coronavirus stimulus package in a timely manner.
Either way, we know Pelosi has been planning something like this for some time now. Last week Pelosi phoned Congressional leaders on her side of the isle, requesting that they submit a wish list of aid requests, telling them to “think big” while exposing that this next bill would amount to a “wish list” of Democratic policy initiatives, in order to give the party a better position from which to negotiate.
State bailouts emerged as the center piece of Pelosi’s wants despite Republicans having made it clear that they will not support bailing out any state or local government whose debt predates COVID-19.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’d much prefer states and cities file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy restructuring than force American taxpayers to bail them out of long-standing debt problems.
Republicans caution that federal legislators might be trying to bail out their suffering state colleagues, many of whom are trying to erase debt that long predates the coronavirus pandemic.
That appears to be exactly what’s happening in the case of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said he would ask Congress personally for a bailout even though New York’s financial woes stem from a massive debt problem caused by high Medicaid costs and population decline as millions of taxpayers have packed their bags over recent years for more tax-friendly states.
A similar situation presents itself in Illinois according to the WSJ who reported earlier this month that “llinois Senate President Don Harmon last week sent a plea for a $41.6 billion federal bailout to his state’s Democratic Congressional caucus. He wants $15 billion in no-strings-attached cash; $6 billion for the state’s unemployment trust fund; $10 billion for pensions; and $9.6 billion in unrestricted aid for cities including Chicago and its unreformed pensions.”
Republicans meanwhile have looked to be much more fiscally responsible with the American tax-payer’s money. McConnell recently said that another massive spending bill will not be considered until they can be sure that the American economy won’t be put under more long term strain caused by the short term solution of more government spending.