Pelosi’s politics holding back more stimulus checks?

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Yesterday, in an interview published on the “Sway” podcast hosted by the New York Times opinion writer Kara Swisher, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are still holding out for a larger stimulus package.

The reasoning is that Pelosi does not believe that the current proposal meets the needs of Americans and she thinks that the president is simply playing politics with his support of the stimulus package.

“We have to meet their needs, not give the president a chance to just say, ‘I’m going to put my name on a check, send it out, and don’t talk to me about food, rent, first responders, healthcare workers, the virus, or anything else,'” Pelosi said.

“That’s all he wants is his name on a check that goes out.”

President Trump took an unprecedented move months ago when he had his name placed on the memo section of the stimulus checks.

This did not sit well with many Democrats and they saw it as a pure political play.

For the record, I do think the president is considering the political implications of endorsing more stimulus checks. But why that would be a reason to hold back aid to anybody I’m not sure.

The focus right now should be on Americans receiving the amount of help that they need to survive the pandemic. Considerations of which party a stimulus package might benefit more should be secondary (if even considered at all).

Pelosi still seems to be stuck on the $2.2 trillion proposal that Republicans have no interest in passing. (Many Republicans even have issues with the $1.5 trillion “compromise” proposal.)

If you look at the total amount of funds already spent on coronavirus relief, $2.2 trillion is a very significant amount. That’s almost the total amount that has been spent when you add up all of the prior stimulus packages together.

At a certain point, you have to be realistic and I think that is why we have heard about moderate Democrats losing their patience with Pelosi.

I believe Pelosi has disingenuously defended her position by claiming that the current proposal does not do enough for many important needs that Americans have.

“Fourteen million children in America are food-insecure, and their families as well,” Pelosi said.

“None of that is covered in what the Republicans have put forth,” she said. “The virus needs to be crushed.”

This is true what Pelosi is stating but this is not a coronavirus-specific problem.

For example, “The USDA estimate[d[ that nearly 13 million children in the United States live[d] in food-insecure households as of 2016. That means that 1 in 6 children (18%) may not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”

So yes, kids lacking proper nutrition is a major problem that needs to be fixed but does it make practical sense to try to solve that long-standing problem with a package aimed at providing temporary coronavirus relief?

This is the same type of thinking we saw when Democrats wanted to throw in student loan forgiveness into the coronavirus relief package. It just didn’t make sense.

To me, Pelosi’s position is still too aspirational and is essentially making perfect the enemy of good. It’s starting to look like she is clinging to this unreasonably high-priced stimulus proposal because she knows that Republicans will never move forward with it.

That would prevent Trump’s name from appearing on more checks prior to the upcoming election — a concern that Pelosi clearly has.

I think it’s time to put politics aside and do what is right for the American people instead of prioritizing the potential political implications of distributing aid to the public.

H/T

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