The Politicians Standing in the Way of Emergency Relief

Chris Murphy and Adam Schiff (Mark Wilson / Getty)
Mark Wilson / Getty

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) torpedoed a bipartisan deal Sunday on a lifeline for the U.S. economy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who had previously praised the negotiations, followed her lead.

Pelosi then introduced her alternative — a pork-laden Democrat wish list of unrelated items from the “Green New Deal” and other radical policies.

Aside from Pelosi and Schumer, here is a list of the other politicians blocking the relief.

(Note that this does not include those with ordinary objections — worthy or not — to the bill, based on concerns that it is too generous to corporations, or that it does not provide enough money for hospitals, et cetera. Those are largely rationalizations and talking points, but they are to be expected in the rough-and-tumble of political debate.)

This list focuses on those whose reasons appear linked to special interests, pure partisanship, or incompetence.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): The co-sponsor of the “Green New Deal” told Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC on Monday that he opposed the bill precisely he backs the special interest provisions that Pelosi wants to put into it: “We want to make sure that it has workers’ protections in it … if they want to give the money to oil companies, gas companies, coal companies, but not to wind and solar companies, we should know that right up front,” he said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA): Schiff actually defended Pelosi adding completely irrelevant, radical changes to voting, like nationwide “ballot harvesting,” telling Chris Hayes of MSNBC: “I think what they’re really focused on is, we want to make sure that we protect not only the health of the economy, but the health of our democracy, and for that reason, we wanted to make sure that we provide that people can vote by mail, and have early voting.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): On Monday, Durbin defended Pelosi’s intervention in the negotiations, flying in from San Francisco at the last minute to disrupt a deal in the Senate. Durbin said: “She is the Speaker of the House, you know. And the measure, whatever we do here, is headed over there for consideration. The fact that she would want to be party to that negotiation is not an outrageous idea.” He did not explain why she needed her own new bill.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT): When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Murphy why Democrats were demanding “solar panel tax credits and collective bargaining rights” in Pelosi’s new legislation, he pleaded ignorance. “I don’t know where those reports come from,” he said. But GOP Senators spent much of the debate on Monday listing all of the giveaways in Pelosi’s proposal; the “reports” were coming from the Senate floor, about a bill from his own party.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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