Barely has the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, passed and already government leaders are eager to get started on Phase 4. And, of course, Democrats are anxious to get more of their agenda approved. In this time of toilet paper panic-buying and the entire country practicing social distancing, are politicians using the crisis to pass legislation stalled in purgatory that otherwise didn’t have a chance?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) didn’t get many of her goodies approved, as Liberty Nation’s James Fite reported: “Things like mandatory early voting, ballot harvesting, requirements that federal agencies review their usage of minority banks, and drastic climate change preventative measures were cut – call them pulled pork, if you will.” Will Pelosi be even more adamant to get these things through?
The Senate is on recess until April 20 and the House is on a break as well, even though members said they would return earlier if needed. Creating another stimulus package is just the incentive they need. “We have to do more,” Pelosi insisted during CNN’s State of the Union. “I think this bill was just a down payment … We have to pass another bill that goes into meeting the need more substantially than we have.”
The money offered in the 880-page legislation is the largest amount in U.S. history. The ink hasn’t even dried, and Democrats and even some Republicans are calling out for more. Not all agree, however. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said the current bill was “critical,” but “I’m not sure we need a fourth package. And before we go to start drafting a fourth package, I’d like these three packages just put out … to take care and get this economy moving.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) suggested the radical Democrats will use another package as a way to “blackmail the country.” During an interview on Fox & Friends, he said:
“I think it’s very likely that the House, where radicals are in control, would love to blackmail the country. They tried on this last bill and failed.”
Conservatives have argued that much put forth in the CARES Act had nothing to do with the Coronavirus crisis, just sneaky opportunities for politicians to take advantage of the situation to get what they wanted. Gingrich continued:
“They’re salivating at the idea that they could produce a new bill with everything they’ve ever wanted in life and somehow blackmail the president into signing it.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) was not happy with the package, saying it did not meet the needs of the states, his in particular: New York will receive $3.8 billion, while facing a $15 billion revenue shortfall. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stressed that this was just the beginning, to take care of the most urgent needs first:
“This bill was never intended to be the ultimate effort to make a state whole. This bill was always intended to be triage, to get the most immediate funds to the most urgent places as quickly as possible.
“That’s why it’s focused on employees, unemployment insurance and money for furloughed workers, as well as a huge amount of money for hospitals because they’re in desperate steps. This is a first step. We expect we will be supporting states and local governments and businesses further.”
But then, as LN’s Mr. Fite asked, how is the government going to cover the enormous cost of bailing out Americans? “The bill will come due someday,” he said. “What government solution will we get then – and at what cost?”
Add that $2.2 trillion price tag to whatever tally a new package may have, and the national debt takes on a monumental new level.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.