On Monday, March 23 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., introduced her economic stimulus bill with a price tag of $2.5 trillion. While it has much of the same items as the Senate bill, including direct cash payments to Americans who earn under a certain amount, some of the provisions are raising eyebrows and eliciting cries of outrage.
In a now-viral tweet thread that has received a lot of attention, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., laid out 24 items that were included in Speaker Pelosi’s bill that had nothing to do with the coronavirus.
“Speaker Pelosi walked away from negotiations to write her own bill, full of absurd provisions completely unrelated to the crisis at hand,” Sen. Cotton tweeted.
Some of the Speaker’s proposals include bailing out the United States Postal Service, cancelling student loans up to $10,000 per student, fully offsetting airline emissions by 2025, expanding same day voter registration and a $15 minimum wage.
Her bill also included $300 million for migrant and refugee resettlement and $35 million in additional funds for the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
In an ironic twist, Speaker Pelosi urged Senate negotiators on Tuesday not to include any “poison pills,” things that Democrats automatically can’t support, in their version of the stimulus package.
Replying to news of the Speaker’s request, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Tx., tweeted, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Yet Speaker Pelosi’s plan may soon be set aside as leaders on Capitol Hill appear to be on the verge of reaching a $2 trillion deal on a stimulus bill being debated on the U.S. Senate.
The Washington Post reported that, “McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi and Mnuchin all voiced optimism that a giant spending bill is within reach. The bill would direct payments of $1,200 to most American adults and $500 to most children, create a $500 billion lending program for companies, states, and cities, another $367 billion to help small companies deal with payroll problems, bolster the unemployment insurance system and pump more money into hospitals.”
Indeed the $2 trillion deal would be the largest stimulus package in American history and has doubled in just a few days from Trump’s original $1 trillion stimulus proposal, and the $1.8 trillion dollar deal that has languished in the Senate for the last couple of days.
We’ll soon see whether politicians on Capitol Hill will be able to put partisanship aside in favor of providing emergency economic relief to hurting American citizens and businesses. We’ll keep you updated when any developments occur.
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