The $2 trillion spending package to boost the economy in response to the coronavirus crisis includes a sneaky little poison pill that Democrats are forcing desperate Americans to swallow – a $350 million chunk of tax-payer money for “Migration and Refugee Assistance.”
After Nancy Pelosi countered the original Senate bill with her own ridiculous draft full of left-wing fantasies completely unrelated to the current pandemic, GOP senators were forced to make some compromises in order to pass the bill that will provide much needed fiscal aid throughout the country.
While a number of items that Republicans objected to were eliminated in the final Senate bill, the Migrant and Refugee Assistance item actually increased by from $300 million in Pelosi’s bill to $350 million.
Republican Matt Gaetz called Democrats out saying on Twitter “Millions of Americans need help now. Dangerous poison pills like $350,000,000 for “Migration and Refugee Assistance” put America LAST. Democrats: This is not the time to advance your legislative agenda. This is the time to put #AmericaFirst.”
On Thursday after the Senate passed the bill, Pelosi bragged about the addition, claiming that Democrats “won the day” in obtaining what they wanted from the Senate’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus response stimulus package.
Pelosi described the negotiations as a “jiu-jitsu” moment in securing legislation that she described as worker-first instead of corporate-focused, but still said Democrats walked away with “not getting everything we want” out of the bill.
“As I’ve said, there are so many things we didn’t get in any of these bills yet in a way that we need to,” Pelosi said, referring not just to the Senate bill but to two previous bills that had already been approved.
Leave it to Nancy Pelosi of course to resort to extreme partisanship in a time like this.
GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy challenged Pelosi’s questionable proclamation of a Democrat victory, however. McCarthy claimed the fundamentals were in place on Sunday and each day Democrats sought more concessions created additional hardship on real families.
“How many people were laid off as the Democrats fought to change the election law or implement the Green New Deal?” McCarthy charged Thursday in a press conference.
“The only few additions were funding of things that had nothing to do with the coronavirus. Was that worth holding it up?” McCarthy said, citing $25 million funding for the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., down from the $35 million that House Democrats proposed.
McCarthy continued railing against Pelosi. “She spent time thanking her members on wins. America’s suffering does not care to hear about these superficial and fabricated claims.”
He added: “What Democrats did was a total disgrace. History will not be kind to the days that added to the millions who were unemployed.”
The House will hold its vote on the massive package Friday. Meanwhile, Pelosi also hinted at what a future bill could include from her side of the isle.
Among them are a “better definition of who qualifies for family and medical leave,” greater OSHA protection for workers, a proposal for pensions that Pelosi said Trump approved and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said could be in the next bill, a 15 percent increase in food stamps, and additional funds for state and local governments.