Lacking even a single Republican vote (and even short more than a dozen Democrat votes), the House of Representatives passed a meaningless $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Wednesday. The move, which appears to do nothing other than give Democrats something to squawk about on the campaign trail, came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to supposedly negotiate towards a bipartisan deal with White House officials.
From the Daily Wire:
The legislation, the largest spending bill since the Democrat-endorsed $3.4 trillion Heroes Act, managed to receive even less support from Democrats in conservative-leaning districts, many of whom were concerned about passing a bill without GOP support, reported The New York Times.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) derided Democrats for not committing to a spending bill with bipartisan support, and accused them and Pelosi of not being “serious about helping Americans.”
In total, 18 House Democrats voted against the legislation and no Republicans voted in favor of it, however, Roll Call reports that the “largely symbolic” package could have been derailed had 10 absent GOP lawmakers voted against it.
We assume that Pelosi sees this “symbolic” legislation as some sort of feather in her cap, but the move drew condemnation from some in her caucus. Politico reports that several House Democrats texted the Speaker this week and asked her to take the deal being offered by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. That deal, which would put $1.6 trillion of new coronavirus stimulus money into the economy, isn’t the left-wing treat package that Pelosi wants, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
“Republicans have put forward a serious offer and I think leadership should stay at the table and get this across the finish line,” said Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT). “It’s a serious offer and a good faith offer, and it feels like we are close.”
“This is going nowhere, we know it’s going nowhere,” lamented Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA). “This is just a vote to make people feel good. I want to help people, and that means sitting at the table and getting the damn deal done.”
Well, that’s just the problem, isn’t it? Pelosi doesn’t WANT to get a deal done. She wants her minions to go out and campaign on the message that it’s Trump and Mitch McConnell standing in the way of a relief package, and passing something smaller and more manageable doesn’t fit that agenda. She would rather the American people suffer economically than to actually negotiate with Republicans in good faith.