With tax cuts for the wealthy and judicial confirmations not on the Senate Calendar, the American People, as AZ Blue Meanie and other writers have reported, can see that the Senate Republicans led by Enemy of the People-Political Prince of Darkness-Obstructionist in Chief Mitch McConnell lack the ability to govern for the American People.
Most of the Science Denying Fox Island-Trump Zone House Republicans lack the aptitude as well but their ineptitude is covered up by the fact the Democrats control that chamber.
With two days to go, Senate Republicans (and the White House proxies they have designated to negotiate with the Democrats) are nowhere close to a stimulus bill that would address the needs of:
- The unemployed.
- Eviction relief.
- State and Local Aid.
- Funding schools to reopen safely.
- Combatting the Coronavirus.
It should be noted again that Republicans wasted valuable time (including taking a two-week recess) by waiting until this week to put their version of a stimulus bill on the table.
Democrats passed theirs in the House (the Heroes Act) back in May.
Now, the Republican bill, disowned by a substantial number of their own caucus, and rendered irrelevant by Mr. Trump (whose idea of an infrastructure project is to include 1.75 billion in unrelated COVID 19 spending to build a new F.B.I. building so his hotel across the street can increase in value,) is dead on arrival.
The Democratic House Legislation is actually the only bill in town that could actually pass the Senate if enough vulnerable, sensible, and retiring Republicans (Collins, Murkowski, Alexander, and one more) can be peeled off to support it.
Trump would probably sign anything at this point (McConnell and his caucus probably fear that) and claim credit for doing all the work and saving the economy (which is okay because his dwindling base is the only group that will believe that.)
However, as of Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Arizona time, both Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse with a little over 48 hours to go before the enhanced unemployment insurance runs out. The moratorium on evictions lapsed last week.
While a last-minute deal could still happen, this stalemate must be giving Governor Doug Ducey a severe case of political agita, because, in his last two press briefings, he expressed confidence that Congress would spare him from having to make hard decisions and pass vital new stimulus to address the areas outlined above.
That confidence may be evaporating at an increasing rate.
if the Republicans and Democrats can not come to some sort of legislative arrangement, Governor Ducey is going to have to do something he has had difficulty doing since prematurely reopening Arizona in May: Govern.
Now Ducey has made some correct-thinking decisions in shifting decision-making responsibilities to competent local authorities on mask wearings and school reopenings (those moves were preferable to him stupidly pleasing his science-denying fringe base and doing nothing) but the time of passing the buck and hoping for the best may be over.
Governor Ducey should call a special session of the Arizona State Legislature to address the financial and healthcare problems the Grand Canyon state faces.
Two Democratic State Representatives, Isela Blanc and Diego Rodriguez issued a statement this afternoon (July 29, 2020) demanding Ducey take the action the Republicans in the United States Senate have been unable to do.
“Unemployment benefits have been an economic boost and lifeline for our state and pulling the rug out now will be a disaster, especially for our hardest-hit Latino and indigenous communities,” said Rodriguez, D-Phoenix. “Governor Ducey has the money through legislative appropriations from our billion-dollar rainy day fund and the federal CARES act to help Arizonans facing a dire situation. Stop hoarding money and show some leadership to help Arizonans avoid homelessness and economic ruin.”
“This is not a time for more half-measures. Arizona families need help now, and our Governor has the tools to make a difference,” said Blanc, D-Tempe. “Masks work. Unemployment benefits keep families and our economy afloat. Rental assistance prevents homelessness. Please, Governor, set aside politics and do what’s right for Arizona.”
It is time for Doug Ducey to rise to the occasion and do what the people elected him to do, govern and help them.
He could start doing that by announcing he is calling for a special session tomorrow at his weekly press briefing.