Here’s a video of a five-minute speech Sen. John Kennedy delivered during deliberations of the coronavirus relief bill which failed on a 47-47 vote earlier today…
There was another vote after that one, and the Republicans picked up two more votes to get the bill to 49-46, but sadly, that’s still a vote short of passage.
They’re having this problem because five Republican senators are self-quarantining after being exposed, or in the case of Rand Paul, being infected, with the virus. So far, no Democrats have reported they’re positive, and there is an outstanding likelihood, given the amount of exposure politicians get to whatever germs are extant among the public, that one or more of them should be in self-quarantine.
Be that as it may, the bill – which is already the product of bipartisan negotiations, as it’s by no means a “Republican” bill at this point – would still have to pass the House.
As such, the Democrats are salivating over the leverage they think they have here. They think this is their opportunity to insist that any companies taking bailout money would have to agree to sweeping new collective bargaining agreements, which would slant the private market back over to a 1950’s unionist model which is long gone. They are also demanding massive new subsidies to “renewable energy.” And they want to force the government into corporate boardrooms to mandate who can and can’t serve on those boards.
It’s essentially as much of the Green New Deal and other leftist fantasy as they think they can get away with. Because they believe that if President Trump doesn’t get this “stimulus” deal, it’s going to trash his presidency – and that’s all they care about.
Kennedy did the country a service by skewering them for it, but the real answer here is for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow proxy or electronic voting in the Senate as an emergency measure, sunsetted to the end of the Wuhan virus event. Then he could get the bill over 50 votes and send it to the House, where it will be Nancy Pelosi’s fault if it doesn’t pass.
Alternatively, President Trump ought to announce that if no relief bill is passed by April 1, he will issue a statement recommending that America go back to work and call upon all governors and mayors to rescind stay-at-home orders. Trump can say that while he’s not comfortable doing that, what’s known about the virus is that it primarily puts only certain people at risk of serious complications while an economic shutdown of any length of time will affect everyone in the country and do severe damage – and faced with that Hobson’s choice he’s going to have to choose the economy and hope for the best.
That’s a lot more leverage than the Democrats have, and it puts Trump in the correct bargaining position – either they agree to a relief bill which injects some lifeblood into the economy and enables people to hold on for a bit longer, or their refusal to do so as they shill for unions, solar energy crony capitalists and intersectional feminists puts responsibility on them for whatever health risks might ensue from an early recission of the current lockdown.
Either way, it can’t be allowed to stand that Chuck Schumer plays games with the nation’s economy without consequence. He has to be made to suffer for it. Kennedy calling him out is a nice start, but it has to be just a start.