Democrats in Congress have been working to shore up U.S. defenses against the Coronavirus outbreak – and Congressional Republicans are standing against them. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has proudly proclaimed himself as the “Grim Reaper” of Democrat-led legislation, grossly denounced a Coronavirus response package that Democrats had produced as an “ideological wish list.” To be clear: the legislation, as-is, includes provisions like expanded unemployment insurance and expanded funding for food banks and the federal food purchasing assistance program known as SNAP. And these measures — which could help those impacted by the Coronavirus’s economic upheaval stay fed and on their feet — are what McConnell has derided as an “ideological wish list.”
‘Unfortunately, it appears at this hour that the Speaker and House Democrats instead chose to produce an ideological wish list that was not tailored closely to the circumstances. One is reminded of the famous comment from President Obama’s first chief of staff: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”‘
How on earth is something that some mildly popular official said around a decade ago at all relevant to the situation at hand? Spoiler: it’s not, but in a feat of hypocrisy, McConnell is resorting to this partisan crate-digging instead of actually engaging with the issue.
He originally even planned to skip town, with an ally having insisted that the Senate would not vote on any further Coronavirus response package at all until they return from a recess that would have lasted almost two weeks.
At the last minute, McConnell announced Senators would stay in town after all.
McConnell announces recess is canceled next week. https://t.co/8r1kznsYUX
— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) March 12, 2020
U.S. Coronavirus cases are growing by the day, and so are deaths, as organization after organization rolls back their events — and McConnell almost couldn’t even be bothered to stick around to even pretend to try to come up with something, apparently.
The original latest House Democrat-led legislation includes $1 billion for the unemployment insurance programs, $500 million for SNAP, and $400 million for food banks — and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he won’t support it either.
‘The country is looking to the government to come together and meet these challenges, but the bill that we saw that just came forth last night at 11 p.m. comes up short.’
@GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy is promising the @HouseGOP will oppose the @HouseDemocrats Corona virus bill that would help Americans through this pandemic. What a disgusting display of partisanship. @SenateDems @SenateGOP #CoronavirusPandemic #RememberInNovember #VoteThemOut
— joia cicolini (@joiacicolini) March 12, 2020
And where’s the president in all of this? Well, he’s tweeting angrily about the Russia investigation of course — which, just to be clear, has been over (at least in the form that’s most set him off) for years.
‘Many Republican Senators want me to Veto the FISA Bill until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted “coup” of the duly elected President of the United States, and others!’
Many Republican Senators want me to Veto the FISA Bill until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted “coup” of the duly elected President of the United States, and others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2020
There was no illegal attempted coup — there just wasn’t! That is his melodramatic description for the Russia investigation that was, overall, duly launched and closed in line with precedent. He’s been considering, as he mentions, drawing back surveillance powers provided for by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — all because his ego felt bruised.