House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sparked a heated backlash as she appeared to be against considering cash payments for Americans in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
The California Democrat even has members of her own party criticizing her lack of support for measures that would get cash into the hands of Americans as the economy falters under the global pandemic. The fact that President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have floated the idea as a possibility has only angered the left even more.
“We are the wealthiest nation in human history, and have the lowest borrowing costs of any major government on the planet, and thus, can easily afford to contain the pandemic and keep our people well provisioned simultaneously,” Eric Levitz wrote in a New York Magazine article on Tuesday.
“All we need is for Congress to overcome its superstitions about deficits, and supply the economy with the many trillions of dollars in stimulus that even many center-right economists say we need,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed that senators “will not leave” Washington until they successfully come up with a new stimulus package in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly presented the idea of sending $1,000 checks, on a means-tested basis, directly to individual Americans when he met with Senate Republicans on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told congressional Republicans that the White House was putting together a package that would send out $250 billion in checks by the end of April, though they would be means-tested to some degree, meaning wealthier families wouldn’t get them,” the Washington Post reported,
But Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, indicated that she was not completely on board after Politico reported that a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama had floated the idea to Democrats last week but Pelosi “shot down the suggestion saying she didn’t want to write checks to millionaires.”
As Congress considers the next steps, the Speaker believes we should look at refundable tax credits, expanded UI & direct payments—but MUST be targeted.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) March 17, 2020
New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie asked “why” this was the case for Pelosi.
“If we agree that the crisis is stark and immediate, and we know that precise targeting takes time and administrative effort, why make that a requirement when you can simply disburse the funds *now* and collect from high-income recipients *later*?”
Progressives took to social media to unload on the “maddening” twist.
“I truly don’t know how to describe how maddening it is that Republicans and Trump officials are to the left of Congressional Dem leadership on this issue,” activist Jordan Uhl tweeted Wednesday.
I truly don't know how to describe how maddening it is that Republicans and Trump officials are to the left of Congressional Dem leadership on this issue. Absolutely fucking maddening. pic.twitter.com/qz55vvyzih
— jordan (@JordanUhl) March 18, 2020
“Nancy Pelosi is officially to the right of Tom Cotton on economic support for American families,” HuffPost reporter Zach Carter tweeted on Sunday. “This is a total failure of Democratic Party leadership.”
First @SpeakerPelosi didn't want to give out too much sick/leave. Now she doesn't want to give out too much cash. This crazy obsession in Dem leadership with looking 'reasonable' by not 'doing too much' is about as impractical and insane as you can get in the face of a pandemic.
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 18, 2020
Journalist Walker Bragman noted the “baffling” stance by Democrats as Trump’s proposals appeared to be closer to Sen. Bernie Sanders who has proposed a $2 trillion package which would include direct payments to Americans.
Trump, who bungled the early response to coronavirus, is starting to take actions resembling Bernie Sanders' proposals—monthly checks, ramping up production via the Defense Production Act, freezing foreclosures & evictions…
All while Dems push things like tax rebates. Baffling
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) March 18, 2020
Soon, the hashtag #PeopleVsPelosi began trending on Twitter as more came out to slam the Democrat.
Nancy Pelosi is against the Trump proposal of sending out checks to Americans.
I am against socialism, but we are experiencing a national crisis and Americans are in trouble financially.
I fully support Trump’s proposal.
Nancy Pelosi is wrong dead wrong. #PeopleVsPelosi
— RD (@real_defender) March 18, 2020
Nancy Pelosi is trying to stop President @realDonaldTrump from giving a direct bailout to the people of the United States. Ask yourself if she would block a bailout for her corporate donors… She would not. She’s afraid Trump’s leadership means she loses power. #PeopleVsPelosi
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) March 19, 2020
— Amanda 💣 (@becauseidunno) March 19, 2020
The #YangGang is now in a very awkward position. @realDonaldTrump is advocating for our top issue, a Universal Basic Income Stimulus, while Democratic leadership is in strong opposition. Not sure how this plays out in November. #PeopleVsSchumer #PeopleVsPelosi
— Andrew Yang Fan Page🧢 (@AndrewYangFanP1) March 19, 2020
Now, just *imagine* A HUNDRED & TWENTY MILLION UPRIGHT FINGERS
Yeah, hey THANKS NANCE!!!! pic.twitter.com/EQ9gqcSzRP
— 🧢AY's the One (@AYin2024) March 19, 2020
Means-testing an emergency stimulus program will provide the middle class with first-hand experience with how remarkably stupid, cruel, and ineffective means-testing for needed aide actually is. Is that really a can of worms you want to open, @SpeakerPelosi? #PeopleVsPelosi
— Lady Themis ⚖️🧢 (@theladythemis) March 19, 2020
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