Pelosi plays politics with COVID-19 pandemic

Christopher Bedford of the Federalist ponders the U.S. House speaker’s response to the coronavirus health scare.

The weekend began with a bipartisan plan. People were hopeful. Outside of Washington, business owners told The Federalist they finally saw light in all the darkness. They thought they’d be able to hire their employees back again. These are employees who have families, mortgages, and lives, people who have never asked for public assistance in their lives and never thought they’d have to.

The mood in Washington was optimistic as well. …

… And then [Nancy] Pelosi came back to town from her week-long vacation and announced the rare, rare bipartisan cooperation the country had seen in the Senate would end with her — and election politics would begin.

“Oh, I don’t know about Monday but we are still talking,” she said Sunday evening. “It’s on the Senate side now because that’s their deadline for a vote but we’ll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it’ll be compatible with that they discussed on the Senate.”

It was difficult to guess how she’d do this with the House in recess, but on Monday her office miraculously introduced a 1,400-page bill. Miraculous, until it became clear she’d simply unloaded the Democratic Party’s election platform into a bill intended to save Americans from bankruptcy and death in the face of a global pandemic.

The list of unrelated provisions is truly incredible. Pelosi’s emergency virus bill includes “collective bargaining… for federal workers,” a federal “study on climate mitigation efforts,” tax credits for wind and solar energy, and demands that the airlines involved buy carbon credits “to fully offset [their] annual carbon emissions.” It includes “same day [voter] registration,” national early voting and “grants for conducting” election audits.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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