‘An Unserious Product’: Speaker Pelosi’s Partisan Messaging Bill Will Not Become Law

‘It Is Partisan; It Is Unaffordable; It Is Unrealistic’; ‘Unlike The First Four Coronavirus Bills, Which Were Passed With Overwhelming Bipartisan Support, This 1,815-Page Package Was Drafted By Democrats Alone And Earned A Veto Threat’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY):In the two months that House Democrats spent away from their duty stations, they seemingly gave themselves just one assignment: Draft an enormous political messaging bill and brand it as ‘coronavirus relief.’ But even on this basis, they failed. The 1,800-page doorstop that Speaker Pelosi dropped last week was appropriately greeted as the legislative equivalent of stand-up comedy. There were tax hikes on small businesses in the midst of a small business crisis. There were targeted tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the bluest states. There were two separate taxpayer-funded studies on diversity and inclusion in the market for marijuana. In sum, a three-trillion-dollar wish list slapped together in a clumsy effort to never let a good crisis go to waste.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/18/2020)


House Democrats Passed ‘A Proposal With No Chance Of Becoming Law,’ ‘More A Messaging Document Than A Viable Piece Of Legislation’ Stuffed Full Of ‘Favored Liberal Provisions’ That ‘Have Little Chance Of Surviving’

“A divided House narrowly passed a $3 trillion pandemic relief package on Friday … advancing a proposal with no chance of becoming law over near-unanimous Republican opposition…. Even though the bill was more a messaging document than a viable piece of legislation, its fate was in doubt in the final hours before its passage.” (“House Passes $3 Trillion Aid Bill Over Republican Opposition,” The New York Times, 5/15/2020)

“As of late Thursday evening, the House Democratic leadership was engaged in what a few senior aides and lawmakers described as the most difficult arm-twisting of the entire congress: convincing their rank and file to vote for a $3 trillion stimulus bill that will never become law…. The bill was released earlier this week. It’s not been through a single congressional committee. And it’s caught flak from both moderates and liberals in the caucus. It’s a messaging bill.” (Politico Playbook, 5/15/2020)

“It also includes a host of favored liberal provisions which have come under attack by Republicans and have little chance of surviving the coming negotiations.” (“House Passes Massive $3T Coronavirus Relief Package,” The Hill, 5/15/2020)

  • “The package contained a number of Democratic priorities … It would allocate $3.6 billion to bolster election security, and would provide a $25 billion bailout for the Postal Service … It would also temporarily suspend a limit on the deduction of state and local taxes from federal income taxes — which Democrats have repeatedly pushed for — and would disproportionately benefit high-income taxpayers in high-tax areas.” (“House Passes $3 Trillion Aid Bill Over Republican Opposition,” The New York Times, 5/15/2020)


The House Bill, ‘More Concerned With Delivering On Longstanding Partisan And Ideological Wishlists,’ Would Earn A Veto From The President

WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY: “The Administration opposes H.R. 6800 … This proposed legislation … is more concerned with delivering on longstanding partisan and ideological wishlists than with enhancing the ability of our Nation to deal with the public health and economic challenges we face…. If H.R. 6800 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” (Statement of Administration Policy, H.R. 6800, Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, 5/14/2020)


Senate Republicans: House Democrats’ Bill Is ‘An Unserious Product’ ‘That Has Nothing To Do With Solving The Crisis In Front Of The American People,’ ‘It Stands Absolutely No Chance Of Becoming Law’

SEN. McCONNELL: “This week, the Speaker published an 1,800-page seasonal catalog of left-wing oddities and called it a coronavirus relief bill. Here we go again…. [F]orget about making law, this thing even fails as a messaging bill. That’s what’s so remarkable! House Democrats had a blank slate to write anything they wanted to define the modern Democratic Party. Any vision for society they wanted. And they chose: Tax hikes on small business, giveaways to blue-state millionaires, government checks for illegal immigrants, and sending diversity detectives to inspect the pot industry. The House gave themselves no assignments for two months except developing this proposal. Yet it still reads like the Speaker of the House pasted together random ideas from her most liberal members and slapped the word ‘coronavirus’ on top of it. An unserious product from an unserious House majority that has spent months dealing itself out of this crisis.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/14/2020)

SENATE MAJORITY WHIP JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “As the leader pointed out, the House Democrats, who are not here but who, remarkably, from afar have evidently put together this fantasy wish list of things they would like to see accomplished--if you can imagine an 1,815-page bill … that has nothing to do with solving the crisis in front of the American people right now but has entirely to do with an ideological wish list. They are all of the things that have been on their agenda for a really long time, none of which should ever be considered seriously in terms of dealing with the crisis that is in front of us right now.” (Sen. Thune, Congressional Record, S.2433, 5/14/2020)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “I come to the floor today to discuss the House Democrats’ $3 trillion spending spree. The American people are at a point in our lives where the American people need a life preserver, instead Speaker Pelosi has just thrown them an anvil. ... Her COVID-19 proposal, it’s pricey, it’s partisan, and it’s a pipe dream. It’s a bloated bonanza of all of her left-wing socialist projects. It weighs in at over 1,800 pages, but there’s one glaring omission, House Democrats forgot to help fight the coronavirus. This bill is Nancy Pelosi’s socialist democrat dream, but it is a nightmare for the American people. Nancy Pelosi needs a very serious reality check. The far-left fantasy will never become law. It cannot pass the Senate. … She’s wasting the public’s time on a proposal that has not a single chance in the world of becoming law. This bill is really a political payoff to Nancy Pelosi’s constituencies, to her allies.” (Sen. Barrasso, Floor Remarks, 5/18/2020)

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): “As we saw [last] week, the more Washington spends, the more Washington’s focus drifts … It goes to how can we use this crisis to grow government? … Last week, House Democrats passed a $3 trillion spending package they used as a vehicle for a lot of their pet projects … All line items that had no business being slapped onto the coattails of a bill that was sold as being a safety net for panicked Americans.” (Sen. Blackburn, Floor Remarks, 5/18/2020)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “House Democrats released a so-called coronavirus relief bill. You might say they kind of mailed it in because they haven't been here for the last 2 weeks, but it has an absolutely staggering pricetag--$3 trillion, with a ‘T.’ That is more than we spent in the first four coronavirus response bills combined. … It would be an understatement to say there are concerns with this kind of legislating. I would call it legislative malpractice, to be kind. ... Unlike the previous coronavirus response bills passed here in Congress, there have been no bipartisan discussions in the production of that bill from the House--not with House Republicans, not with the administration, and certainly not with [Senate Republicans]. I can assure you that this legislation looks just like the kind of product that you would expect from that type of flawed process. It is partisan; it is unaffordable; it is unrealistic; and it stands absolutely no chance of becoming law.” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S.2461, 5/14/2020)

  • SEN. CORNYN: “It is a political statement as much as anything else, a liberal wish list which, if passed--which it will not be--would sink us further in debt without the benefit of addressing the problems we are actually facing.” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S.2461, 5/14/2020)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): “Well, it's not a coronavirus bill, as much as it is an effort by the Speaker and her colleagues to rewrite the rules for American society. This bill, her bill would rewrite our immigration laws. Her bill would federalize elections. Our elections have always been run by states and local governments. Her bill would begin the process of federalizing the elections. It would allow federal prisoners to go free. It mentions dope more than it talks about jobs. I think it references cannabis like 68 times. It would expand Obamacare. And let me end as I began. It would cost $3 trillion. That's 3,000 billion dollars.” (Fox Business Network, 5/17/2020)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “This bill that they hope to vote on, on Friday, is a $3 trillion bill. That is larger than the previous four bills that we have voted on combined. It is a pretty dramatic expansion of a lot of issues that are not COVID-19 related…. It is over 1,800 pages. In fact, just the summary of it--if people want to see the summary document of it--is 90 pages long, just to get the summary of it. And it deals with a lot of issues that are certainly not COVID-19 related, and I think a lot of Oklahomans and a lot of other Americans would say: ‘Why did they want to stick that in there?’ … I have a lot of concerns about this bill, beginning with just the basics of: Why didn't they even try to negotiate with Republicans and Democrats. It was a straight Democratic bill in a time we desperately need to focus on not putting out a partisan thing … [F]lying in to do a messaging bill worth $3 trillion that changes voting in America and changes cannabis laws and does all kinds of other things is not what we need to do right now.” (Sen. Lankford, Congressional Record, S.2407, 5/13/2020)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “The Speaker of the House proposed a new piece of legislation this week that … is another $3 trillion. It is actually more than the previous four combined. The legislation that she is proposing has a lot of items that aren't directly related to the COVID-19 crisis. They are, as some have said, a wish list of priorities, and others have said in the media that it is more of a messaging bill…. Among other things, it says, as an example, that they want to change the current law, which says that you are limited in terms of how much of a Federal tax deduction you can take for State and local taxes. That is called the SALT issue. They want to repeal that…. I can think of a lot of better ways to spend that money, including more testing, including ensuring that small businesses can get back on their feet, ensuring that our healthcare system is sound, and other things.” (Sen. Portman, Congressional Record, S.2415, 5/13/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19