Economy & Business

Democrats Block Job-Saving Program

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference following a Senate vote on the coronavirus relief bill on Capitol Hill, March 26, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
They should be forced to tell Americans why racial and gender quotas are more important than saving employees from joblessness.

Let’s not hear one more consonant from Democrats and their housekeepers in the left-wing media about President Donald J. Trump’s allegedly slothful response to the COVID-19 crisis. Democratic lawmakers and leftist journalists now are slowing things, on purpose. And that’s far, far worse.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) degraded herself on March 29 by telling CNN: “As the president fiddles, people are dying.” NBC’s Chuck Todd recently asked Joe Biden, “Do you think there is blood on the president’s hands considering the slow response?”

Somehow, while fiddling with bloody hands, President Trump managed to impose his ban on alien-arrivals from China on January 31, one day after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Since then, among many things, Team Trump has:

  • deployed two hospital ships, some of whose medical personnel have disembarked to relieve their counterparts on shore.
  • ordered construction of 21 temporary infirmaries housing 8,450 medical-station beds.
  • rallied unprecedented private-sector initiatives and public–private partnerships.
  • accelerated trials of potential vaccines and the current or imminent use of 35 different therapeutics.
  • inspired Abbott Laboratories’ five-minute COVID-19 test.
  • underwritten 11,000 of 29,000 National Guard personnel whom governors have activated.
  • supplied, as of Saturday evening, via FEMA’s 64 Project Airbridge flights and other means, at least 10.5 million surgical gowns, 55 million N95 masks, 69 million surgical masks, and 523 million gloves.
  • reversed the ventilator shortage, with 10,998 units delivered, as of Thursday. Indeed, America suddenly is so awash in life-saving respiratory equipment that Andrew Cuomo, Democratic governor of hard-hit New York, announced Wednesday via Twitter: “In our hour of need, other states stepped up to help us. We promised we would do the same. We will be sending 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.”

While Trump stayed busy “not responding,” Democrats hurled wrenches into the works. On the brink of bipartisan passage of COVID-19 relief, filibustering Senate Democrats stalled the $2.2 trillion CARES Act for five business days last month. Pelosi abused this national emergency to demand taxpayer dollars for the musician-hating Kennedy Center, subsidies for windmills and solar panels, an ingenious ruse to fund illegal-alien-criminal-coddling fugitive cities, a federal ban on voter-ID cards, and loads more that would have done zero to remedy this homicidal virus or its economic aftermath.

“In the United States, as of this morning, there were 471 deaths reported due to coronavirus,” a disgusted Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said March 23. “As of right now, it’s 573. That means today, 102 Americans died while the Democrats were blocking consideration of this bill.”

Some 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment that week. If Pelosi and Senate Democrats had cooperated, President Trump would have signed that bill on March 22, rather than March 27 — an entire business week sooner. If this had saved 10 percent of these jobs, then Democrats and their partisan fetishism herded 330,000 Americans into unemployment. Probably more.

Democrats and leftist journalists then attacked hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a 65-year-old anti-malaria and anti-lupus drug that has shown some hope against COVID-19. Because President Trump has discussed HCQ optimistically, his enemies reflexively have mocked it and even, using gubernatorial power, prohibited doctors and pharmacists from dispensing it to COVID-19 patients. Far better, the Left’s behavior indicates, for them to embarrass Trump with HCQ’s failure than for it to succeed and vindicate Trump. If this would cost COVID-19 patients their lives, that’s elusive on the Left’s list of worries.

On April 9, news broke that 16.6 million Americans had lost work in the previous three weeks. Democrats chose that of all dates to sandbag, yet again, financial assistance that Trump and Republicans have tried to supply. In this instance, it was $250 billion for additional, potentially forgivable loans in the Paycheck Protection Program, to entice small businesses to keep their workers. These laborers are among the 330 million Americans enduring soft house arrest. While conservatives  did not do cartwheels over a quarter-trillion dollars in job subsidies, the alternative was far less cheerful: Watching millions more blameless Americans lose their jobs, swamp local unemployment offices, and register for months or even years on the dole, as this economy slip slides away.

Rather than join this emergency bucket brigade, the same Democrats who accuse Republicans of divisiveness stayed busy draining these buckets, and letting the financial fires blaze more brightly.

Even worse, Democrats scuttled this small-business rescue mission so that they could savor their favorite indoor activity: destabilizing the USA via racial politics. Before they would consent to this infusion for PPP, Democrats insisted on set asides for minority- and women-owned businesses — as if any American banker today is thinking: “I’ll be damned if I approve a loan application from some black guy or some chick.”

The Democrats’ sabotage came the morning after COVID-19 killed 1,973 Americans, and New York State’s infections surpassed those in Spain and Italy. Now, as then, Americans yearn for the gorgeous economy that we all shared not even two months ago. Amid all of this, is anybody plotting racist and sexist bank practices, like those over which Democrats obsess? Conversely, PPP has been so successful that its initial budget glided gently into depletion. In just two weeks, some 5,000 banks approved 1.7 million loan applications before exhausting this program’s $349 billion initial budget — a truly mixed blessing. Thus the even more urgent need for confidence and capital to reach entrepreneurs and staffers whose professional lives are flashing before their eyes.

But race-warrior Democrats couldn’t care less.

Predictably, the Democrats’ journo-janitors rushed in to scoop up the donkeys’ mess.

  • “Democrats block a GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program,” CNN titled its story. This was too dirty for the Dems. So, CNN hosed down its headline: “Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid.”
  • “Senate Dems to block new coronavirus relief in bid for more money,” Politico first reported. It soon swept behind the Democrats with a new headline: “Senate brawl derails fast push for new coronavirus relief.”
  • “Democrats block G.O.P. proposal for aid to businesses, request more funds,” the so-called “Paper of Record” topped its dispatch. It then papered over the record, once again to sanitize the donkeys’ stable. “As Economy Hemorrhages Jobs, Aid Stalls in Senate.”
  • “Democrats Block McConnell Push to Boost Small Business Aid,” read Bloomberg’s original report. Then, they busted out the broom: “GOP, Democrats in Standoff over Boosting Same-Business Aid.”

  • “Senate Democrats block GOP bid for $250 billion in small business funds amid impasse over coronavirus aid,” NBC News first reported. And after applying its peacock-feather duster: “Senate hits impasse over $250 billion in coronavirus small-business funds.”

For now, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky should reconvene the Senate. If Democrats continue to torpedo this measure, he should do with Democratic obstructionists what he always should do with them: Make them filibuster.

McConnell should force Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and his comrades to occupy the Senate floor, hour after hour, and tell the American people why racial and gender quotas are more important than saving employees from joblessness and companies from bankruptcy. Let Democrats, one after another, face the nation and detail their pet plans to cleave Americans by complexion and chromosomes. Let Democrats argue that identity politics trumps a $250 billion tourniquet on the economic hemorrhage wrought by this clandestine enemy’s invisible Blitzkrieg against our beloved Republic.

With each passing moment, Democrats will expose themselves as America’s most selfish people, who — once again — have stepped over the crushed dreams of their countrymen, stood atop the cadavers of their fellow Americans, and split apart this rather re-unified country in its darkest hour since World War II.

Yes, Democrats. Go ahead and filibuster, so the fragments of your “fight for the little guy” façade will blow away and reveal that the pure, bitter quest for rank partisanship and racial tension are all that remain of this once-presentable party.

Enough is far more than enough! Voters should know that there is nothing left of the Democratic Party but self-absorption, partisan greed, and racial trigger happiness.

Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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