If there’s anything Americans do well, it’s come together in times of crisis.
But for Congress to band together after the four years of stark division created by Democrats and their attempted coup is nothing short of a miracle.
Apparently, our legislators recognize the panic surrounding this virus is devastating our country. And immediate action is essential to our recovery.
According to Fox News:
Congress, a branch of the government not known for its ability to act quickly and certainly not known for coming to broad consensus on important issues, has done both of those things as it has shepherded two coronavirus-related spending bills to President Trump’s desk in two weeks and is feverishly working to put together a third, blockbuster package that could be worth upward of $1 trillion.
Trump’s signing of the second coronavirus bill, which will provide $100 billion worth of paid sick leave, unemployment help and free virus testing to Americans, comes as the coronavirus pandemic is hitting close to home on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, were the first two members of Congress to test positive for the disease officially known as COVID-19.
I’m feeling much better. However, it’s important that everyone take this seriously and follow @CDCgov guidelines in order to avoid getting sick & mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times. pic.twitter.com/g5W5vSQIyH
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) March 18, 2020
Congress is certainly working together. The Senate managed to pass the House coronavirus bill without amendments by a 90-8 margin, sending it to Trump’s desk just two days after the House passed a technical fix to the legislation.
The expedited passage of the House legislation was a stark departure from the usual interaction between the chambers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the self-styled “Grim Reaper” for the House’s “socialist agenda,” has been at odds with House Democrats since they took control of the lower chamber in early 2019.
McConnell doesn’t have time for Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer to act like fools with their anti-Trump rhetoric.
“This is a time for urgent bipartisan action, and, in this case, I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday, announcing he would vote for the second coronavirus bill despite some perceived shortcomings.
And even before the Senate ushered through the second bill, members of Congress and the Trump administration were falling over each other to offer up ideas for another piece of legislation.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, each proposed different ideas for how the government could send checks directly to Americans who are financially strapped because of the economic slowdown. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., confirmed Tuesday on Sirius XM’s “The Michael Smerconish Program” that a “one-time distribution of $1,000 to every adult citizen” was “being seriously discussed.”
Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he would propose at least $750 billion in spending to fight the coronavirus crisis before it came out the next day that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pitched Republican senators on $850 billion in spending for the same purpose.
Then reports came out Wednesday that the third coronavirus package might actually be worth $1 trillion or more, as the administration urges two rounds of stimulus checks to Americans.
Obviously, McConnell will work closely with President Trump to keep America moving.
McConnell Tuesday said he would break off Republican senators into task forces to write up parts of the GOP version of the third coronavirus response bill in coordination with the White House.
McConnell on next coronavirus bill: We’re in the process of deciding exactly where we are and where the administration is and then we obviously intend to sit down with Senator Schumer, and I’m sure he will keep the Spkr in the loop. And we’ll move toward getting (an) agreement.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 19, 2020
“This is a herculean task, from a legislative point of view, to try to craft something this significant with 53 people,” McConnell said. “Everyone has a way to funnel in their suggestions to one of these three task forces. These task forces will be working with the Treasury Department and Secretary Mnuchin and his team, to see if we can reach a Republican consensus so we know where we are.”
He said he then plans to sit down with Schumer and work out the differences between the Republican proposal and the Democratic proposal before working to quickly pass the third-stage legislation.
From the Left
Pelosi even managed to send out a letter than didn’t criticize the president. I wonder if she used one of her special impeachment pens? She surely has enough of them laying around.
“As we proceed with further legislation, we all see this tragic pandemic as a challenge for us to shape an economy that puts Families First,” she wrote in the letter.
She continued: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought great pain to our country, but we must be hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Science has given us reason to be hopeful, and the best minds in America are working all hands on deck. Take pride in your support for our first bill, which allocated billions of dollars for research for treatments and a vaccine and in our second bill putting Families First, focusing on testing, testing, testing.”
Finally! There’s no investigation looming. No report hogging headlines. Instead, Congress is rolling up their sleeves to start problem solving. Imagine if they’d done this from the beginning? The $32M we wasted on the Mueller report alone would have provided quite a few coronavirus tests.