Politicians on both sides of the aisle love to play politics in order to make the other side look bad. Particularly in the lead up to an election. Covid relief, though, isn’t one of those toys that should be played with.
You may think most of the damage on the Republican side is self inflicted, and you would be right. After all, Trump himself came out and put a stop to negotiations personally, until after the election. Not long after suffering immensely in national polls, the President realized his political miscalculation. However, Pelosi and Democrats have shown him no mercy, determined to force Trump to keep his disastrous pledge.
In order to redeem himself, the Trump White House put together a $1.8 trillion Covid relief offer. The offer doesn’t have everything Democrats wanted, but on the other hand, it has far more than Republicans were offering. Still, rather than put it to a vote and potentially help the American people, Pelosi refuses to bring it to the table.
To make matters worse, unlike progressive Rep. Ro Khanna, most Democrats are not speaking out publicly in favor of passing the relief bill. Khanna said Monday that Democratic lawmakers have a “moral obligation” to pursue a deal to provide extra aid to Americans facing a deadly pandemic, unemployment, a growing hunger crisis, and an impending surge of evictions.
The problem is, like everything in Washington these days, as the HuffPost’s Zach Carter put it, “The dispute over the stimulus in Democratic circles has not been about the economic situation, but the politics of addressing it. Passing a stimulus bill, critics argue, would hand Trump a much-needed legislative win heading into the November election.”
Forget Congress’ moral obligations for a moment. What would Trump actually gain by Democrats passing a bill to help Americans? A bill Senate Republicans have pledged to reject. Trump is so far behind in the polls, both nationally and in swing states that not even a string of so-called victories can save him in such a short period of time.
The fact of the matter is, the consequences of doing nothing is far greater than Trump rising in the polls a point or two, assuming that even happens. For starters, 77 percent of Americans want a Covid relief bill passed in the Senate. 66 percent even want it done before the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.
Aside from the people demanding it, not passing a Covid Relief bill before the election would have real disastrous consequences on the lives of millions of struggling people. Waiting for Biden to potentially take office in January would be too little too late for too many.
The inability of Congress to meet the simplest of moral obligations is pure politics when you consider that even the most genuine of libertarians would argue the sole purpose of the government is to protect it’s people.
In the end, both Republicans and Democrats have had no problem allowing the American People to suffer through the worst pandemic in a century. Allowing the country to fall to ruin only demonstrates further that the government can’t be trusted and works for itself, a long-standing Republican talking point. At least allow Republicans to maintain the bulk of the blame by putting the burden of passing Covid relief back in their court.