A $3 trillion spending bill even a progressive Democrat could despise

House Democrats just passed the latest in an ongoing series of coronavirus-relief packages, the newest iteration scored with the princely sum of $3 trillion.  Dubbed the HEROES Act, a forced acronym for “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act,” the bill boasts 1,815 pages, claiming the lives of half a dozen birch trees.

The price and page count reflects its rotund innards: a $1-trillion bailout of state and municipal governments; $200 billion in hazard pay for medical workers; $25 billion to shore up the U.S. Postal Service’s finances; a $3-billion boost for statewide election offices; $5 billion for increased broadband internet access in libraries; billions for student-debt forgiveness.

The bill’s authors must have all had the “m” keys on their computers broken, and figured changing each sum from “million” to “billion” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.  What’s another trillion smackers tacked on to the national debt at this point, really?

As is common congressional practice, a few minor giveaways were slipped into the bill, including grants for the National Endowment for the Arts, marijuana dispensaries, and “environmental justice” studies.  These additions, drops in the deluge of red ink Congress keeps dumping on America, turned off would-be moderate supporters.

The vote was almost completely along party lines—a handful of Democratic holdouts in swing districts declined invite to their party’s pricey saturnalia.  A lone Republican, Peter King of New York, joined the free spenders in their indulgence. 

Despite the bill’s stonking price tag, the quartet demimonde known as “the Squad,” demurred from backing its passage.  "I think we can go further, especially when it comes to health care,” said the red-romper millennial congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The result: a bill too costly and unfocused for Republican support; not ambitious enough for progressive backing.  The Senate chamber will crumble into the Potomac before Mitch McConnell’s caucus comes within a Kentucky mile of considering the passed product.

To ask crudely: what gives?  Where was Nancy Pelosi’s vaunted legislative prowess in all of this?  Passing a massive law, stuffed chockablock with leftist pipe dreams, for no point at all?  The country is emerging out of the throes of a pandemic and economic seppuku.  Why bother shunting through an otiose ream of indecipherable legalese?  To give trudging postal workers a brief feeling of hope, followed on by a pang of loss?

Twitter-ratified Republican operatives were quick to call out the Democrats.  “How do you explain a House Democratic Party so crazy that their new $3 trillion proposal has 68 references to Cannabis and only 52 references to jobs?” queried former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  One Trump campaign surrogate called it a “liberal wish-list bill.”

An anonymous G.O.P. “strategist” told Politico: 

“People are struggling to make rent and figure out how to put enough food on the table for their kids. But what is House Democrats’ priority? A $3 trillion grab bag of long-time liberal priorities from marijuana to tax breaks for blue state millionaires to ‘environmental justice.’ It’s hard to illustrate better just how out of touch they are from the American people.” 

The above is half right. As are the snarkers dunking on the irrelevant progressive priorities crammed into the bill. 

Pelosi never meant for the act to become law. This was a sop to the party’s youngish true believers. While the likes of A.O.C. didn’t bite at the bait, they know it’s only a matter of time before their lebensphilosophie becomes Democratic Party canon.

Joe Biden admitted as much when he referred to himself as “a transition candidate” clearing the path for a “bench” of the “ready to go in.”  The liver-spotted Biden was trying to project a forward-looking vision for his presidency, but was really giving a sad admittance of his obsolescence.  Should Biden win the White House, he’ll be a mere figurehead, a stand-in for fresh-faced uber-liberal appointees to govern.  The children, mollycoddled and with a sharp sense of entitlement, really are the future.

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have to be providential to know the fate of her party.  Her hand was forced on impeachment.  She crashed into a hurdle during the first round of coronavirus-relief negotiations after being pushed unwillingly by her hard-left flank. Pelosi realizes that she, too, is transitional.

Bernie Sanders lost two presidential bids.  But his social-democratic ideals have seeped deep into the Democratic Party’s ethos.  And like hot air, they’re rising to the top.

Image credit: Needpix/Pixabay public domain

House Democrats just passed the latest in an ongoing series of coronavirus-relief packages, the newest iteration scored with the princely sum of $3 trillion.  Dubbed the HEROES Act, a forced acronym for “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act,” the bill boasts 1,815 pages, claiming the lives of half a dozen birch trees.

The price and page count reflects its rotund innards: a $1-trillion bailout of state and municipal governments; $200 billion in hazard pay for medical workers; $25 billion to shore up the U.S. Postal Service’s finances; a $3-billion boost for statewide election offices; $5 billion for increased broadband internet access in libraries; billions for student-debt forgiveness.

The bill’s authors must have all had the “m” keys on their computers broken, and figured changing each sum from “million” to “billion” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.  What’s another trillion smackers tacked on to the national debt at this point, really?

As is common congressional practice, a few minor giveaways were slipped into the bill, including grants for the National Endowment for the Arts, marijuana dispensaries, and “environmental justice” studies.  These additions, drops in the deluge of red ink Congress keeps dumping on America, turned off would-be moderate supporters.

The vote was almost completely along party lines—a handful of Democratic holdouts in swing districts declined invite to their party’s pricey saturnalia.  A lone Republican, Peter King of New York, joined the free spenders in their indulgence. 

Despite the bill’s stonking price tag, the quartet demimonde known as “the Squad,” demurred from backing its passage.  "I think we can go further, especially when it comes to health care,” said the red-romper millennial congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The result: a bill too costly and unfocused for Republican support; not ambitious enough for progressive backing.  The Senate chamber will crumble into the Potomac before Mitch McConnell’s caucus comes within a Kentucky mile of considering the passed product.

To ask crudely: what gives?  Where was Nancy Pelosi’s vaunted legislative prowess in all of this?  Passing a massive law, stuffed chockablock with leftist pipe dreams, for no point at all?  The country is emerging out of the throes of a pandemic and economic seppuku.  Why bother shunting through an otiose ream of indecipherable legalese?  To give trudging postal workers a brief feeling of hope, followed on by a pang of loss?

Twitter-ratified Republican operatives were quick to call out the Democrats.  “How do you explain a House Democratic Party so crazy that their new $3 trillion proposal has 68 references to Cannabis and only 52 references to jobs?” queried former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  One Trump campaign surrogate called it a “liberal wish-list bill.”

An anonymous G.O.P. “strategist” told Politico: 

“People are struggling to make rent and figure out how to put enough food on the table for their kids. But what is House Democrats’ priority? A $3 trillion grab bag of long-time liberal priorities from marijuana to tax breaks for blue state millionaires to ‘environmental justice.’ It’s hard to illustrate better just how out of touch they are from the American people.” 

The above is half right. As are the snarkers dunking on the irrelevant progressive priorities crammed into the bill. 

Pelosi never meant for the act to become law. This was a sop to the party’s youngish true believers. While the likes of A.O.C. didn’t bite at the bait, they know it’s only a matter of time before their lebensphilosophie becomes Democratic Party canon.

Joe Biden admitted as much when he referred to himself as “a transition candidate” clearing the path for a “bench” of the “ready to go in.”  The liver-spotted Biden was trying to project a forward-looking vision for his presidency, but was really giving a sad admittance of his obsolescence.  Should Biden win the White House, he’ll be a mere figurehead, a stand-in for fresh-faced uber-liberal appointees to govern.  The children, mollycoddled and with a sharp sense of entitlement, really are the future.

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have to be providential to know the fate of her party.  Her hand was forced on impeachment.  She crashed into a hurdle during the first round of coronavirus-relief negotiations after being pushed unwillingly by her hard-left flank. Pelosi realizes that she, too, is transitional.

Bernie Sanders lost two presidential bids.  But his social-democratic ideals have seeped deep into the Democratic Party’s ethos.  And like hot air, they’re rising to the top.

Image credit: Needpix/Pixabay public domain