McConnell’s political gamesmanship fails; Pelosi offers a counter House stimulus plan


I’ll begin where I ended this morning: “”Moscow Mitch” McConnell’s singular focus on partisan Republican politics is the last thing this country, or the world, needs right now. We need to get this right.”

Yet this is exactly what is happening. Republicans are not serious about an economic stimulus package. The sham stimulus package they have put forward is a Republican “wish list” for their corporate masters, and is being used by “Moscow Mitch” McConnell to stage show votes for partisan political gamesmanship in the conservative media entertainment complex. The Republican Party does not do public policy, propaganda is all that they do.

Politico reports, Coronavirus rescue package stalls after Democrats defeat key vote:

The Senate reached a critical pressure point on Monday as Democrats defeated another procedural vote while they negotiate a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package.

The vote’s failure — which comes after four days of frenetic talks — further frustrated Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has aggressively [tried to ram it down, jam it down the throats of Democrats]. Every Democrat voted against moving forward on Monday’s procedural vote except Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.).

Despite the [show votes], Senate Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still insisted Monday afternoon that they are nearing a deal on a package that would help blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Shortly after the vote, Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met again for the third time.

“Going well,” Mnuchin told reporters as he left Schumer’s office shortly after 4 p.m., saying he hoped for a deal Monday night.

“Moscow Mitch” has lost his control over this process and he is lashing out in anger over the loss of his power like a spoiled child who has been told “No!” by Mom and Dad.

With tensions running high and tempers flaring in the Capitol, McConnell scolded Senate Democrats for blocking [his] bill, which he said has delayed negotiations to the point where a final vote could be delayed until Friday or Saturday.

“While people are losing their jobs, losing their income, and shutting down the economy, which we have had to do to deal with this public health crisis, they are fiddling around with Senate procedure that could, if one senator objected, take us all the way to the end of the week to solve this problem,” McConnell said. “I’m beginning to think our Democratic colleagues don’t understand the procedures of the Senate.”

Wow. that’s some serious chutzpa! Crocodile tears from the evil GOP bastard who has abused Senate rules more than any man in the history of the Senate, and is abusing the rules now by scheduling show votes for partisan political gamesmanship in the conservative media entertainment complex.

Minutes after the Senate’s failed vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced from the other side of the Capitol that House Democrats will unveil their own version on Monday. Text of the bill, which is currently 1,443 pages, is expected to be filed within hours.

Pelosi said the Democrats’ package would focus on immediately helping people in need, through direct payments — like expanded unemployment insurance, the child tax credit, and earned income tax credit — and other measures, such as reducing student debt burdens and expanded food stability programs.

“We must be bold and forward looking in our thinking,” Pelosi said, describing the outbreak as “one of the most serious health and economic emergencies out nation has ever faced.”

Asked about a House floor schedule, Pelosi said she “hoped” that the House would vote on a package this week: “That is a hope yes, but we’ll see what the Senate does.”

More from The Hill, Pelosi previews House coronavirus stimulus as Senate hits roadblocks:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday offered an early glimpse of House Democrats’ sweeping proposal to boost the crippled economy amid the coronavirus crisis, presenting it as a family-focused alternative to the Senate Republicans’ package, which Democrats deem too friendly to corporations.

Pelosi summed up the Democrats’ objections in a sentence.

“The Senate Republican bill put corporations first,” she said.

The Speaker said she still intends to have the House return to Washington to vote on the package but suggested such a step might not be necessary if Senate negotiators can seal a deal on the upper chamber’s bill that wins the support of her House caucus.

“That’s our hope, yes, but we’ll see what the Senate does,” Pelosi said from the Speaker’s balcony in the Capitol.

House Democrats want to expand funding for unemployment insurance, offer student loan relief, extend the reach of food stamps and bar corporations that receive federal help from buying back stocks or firing employees, among other provisions. The bill would also expand worker safety protections — like those governing the front-line medical workers dealing with infected patients — and require the Trump administration to enforce them.

The Democrats’ bill — crafted after weeks of conference calls with leaders, committee heads, rank-and-file members and outside groups — provides billions of dollars for scarce medical equipment, like masks and ventilators; expands unemployment insurance and paid leave; boosts the child and earned income tax credits; and gives grants to states to protect November’s elections by expanding early voting and creating a universal mail-in-ballot system.

The package also includes a host of liberal provisions that have little chance of making it into the final package, including tax credits to promote green energy and mandatory emissions reductions for the airlines set to receive federal help. Republicans wasted no time hammering those items as superfluous to the crisis at hand.

“Are you kidding me?” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday. “This is not a juicy political opportunity. This is a national emergency”…

… He said with absolutely no sense of irony, as the pot called the kettle black.

For amateurs, these are throw-away provisions to trade away in the give and take of negotiations in order to get what Pelosi really wants. There is no expectation that these throw-away provisions will ever be included in the final bill. And everyone knows it.

Nevertheless, “Moscow Mitch” persisted with his hissy-fit:

“I assure you,” McConnell said just before Monday’s vote, “the American people will be watching.”

Democrats countered, “Oh, they’ll be watching alright” and the public will be outraged by the corporate benefits in the GOP bill, and will blame this impasse on the Republicans.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are rushing to finish negotiations with the Trump administration amid mounting pressure from Republicans and within their own party, with millions of desperate Americans eager for relief. Jobs are being shed by the day, and one forecaster predicted a GDP drop of 24 percent in second quarter — far worse than the Great Recession.

Cue up the biannual Republican campaign tactic of demonizing Nancy Pelosi. Remember, propaganda is all that they do. GOP dusts off anti-Pelosi playbook as stimulus negotiations drag on:

After the Senate suffered a crushing setback on efforts to pass a $1.6 trillion coronavirus rescue bill Sunday, Republicans reached for a familiar foe to blame: Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“She’s the speaker of the House, not the speaker of the Senate. We don’t have one,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said angrily after a key procedural vote failed due to Democratic opposition. “We were doing just fine until that intervention.”

Any legislation passed by the Senate must also go through Nancy Pelosi’s House to reach the president’s desk, which gives her enormous leverage in this debate. “These old senators don’t know how to deal with a very strong woman and she will torch them that they were trying to take care of corporate America and not people,” said one Democratic strategist.

As Senate leaders struggled to reach a deal Monday morning, Republicans continued to scapegoat Pelosi, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blasting the speaker during an early appearance on Fox News and accusing Pelosi of trying to blackmail Republicans with a wish-list of demands. Senior GOP aides were also shopping around Pelosi attack lines under the cloak of anonymity Monday morning.

For most congressional Republicans, the blame-Pelosi playbook is an old familiar comfort — an easy go-to as party leaders wrestle for the upper hand in negotiations. For over a decade, the GOP has poured millions of dollars into campaign ads decrying the California Democrat and her “San Francisco values” as all that’s wrong in America. And the coronavirus crisis has proved no exception.

Because sexism and misogyny against the most powerful and successful woman politician in American history is going to score points with the millions of women voters who gave Nancy Pelosi and Democrats their biggest win in congressional elections in 2018 since the post-Watergate election in 1974. These misogynist old white guys just don’t get it.

While “Moscow Mitch” McConnell whores for his corporate masters, Nancy Pelosi is defending the interests of the working people of this country who are losing their jobs as the government orders businesses to shut down and workers to stay home. The Senate is going to have to give Pelosi the demands she wants to get any bill through the House.

“Moscow Mitch” McConnell needs to put the American people first, and stop his partisan political gamesmanship in a time of national crisis. Hold him accountable.