Crazy We Know, But Did Democrats Learn ALL THE LESSONS About Telling GOP To GET BENT?
Kudos to Joe Biden's White House for playing the COVID relief negotiations just right. No, we mean it!
They've largely ignored Republican whining about WHAR UNITY and their God-given right to chisel the eventual relief bill down to eight bucks and a two-for-one Arby's coupon. They're not pointing out that the president who lost the popular vote by three million votes — we mean the first time — was perfectly happy to pass a trillion dollar tax boondoggle without Democratic support, so GTFOH with that bellyaching about the president who won by seven million votes passing desperately needed stimulus relief on party lines. Hell, the closest White House press secretary Jen Psaki came to snark was pointing out in yesterday's presser that Republicans are perfectly free to vote for the bill even if it's proposed under reconciliation to avoid the GOP filibuster.
"Republicans can still vote for a package, even if it goes through with reconciliation, there's no blood oath anybody signs. They're able to support it regardless," she said yesterday.
But we at your Wonkette are not that nice, so we will give the GOP the response they deserve.
We are so not here for Republicans whining about the need for bipartisanship. We lived through the past four years, thankyouverymuch. We remember when the GOP used reconciliation to ram through that $1.9 trillion tax cut in 2017. Reconciliation has to be budget neutral, so they dummied up some bullshit numbers promising that the largest single transfer of wealth in history would somehow magically cause the economy to expand enough to fill government coffers, shrink the deficit, and massively decrease unemployment. In reality, it did none of those things, because trickle down economics does not fucking work.
We also remember when they tried to gut the American healthcare system using the same gambit. They were perfectly willing to have Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote four years ago if it meant they could rip health insurance away from 20 million Americans, and they sure as shit didn't break a nail trying to get Democrats on board either. So they can get bent with all this precious talk about the importance of bipartisanship and President Biden's obligation to get Republican buy-in on the COVID plan.
"If reconciliation is chosen as the COVID legislative vehicle, it will make the Inaugural speech by President @JoeBiden ring very hollow," tweeted Lindsey Graham, and that guy knows from hollow. "I'm certain the bipartisan group - who came up with the $908 billion COVID package last year - could work with the Biden Administration on a compromise in place of the $1.9 trillion package. It would take effort, but apparently very little effort is being shown by the Biden Administration when it comes to bipartisanship on COVID relief."
More half measures that may or may not materialize at some future date? Hooray! Just hold that football still, Lucy, so we can get a good running start.
Joe Manchin, a member of said bipartisan group, described its deliberations to Politico as "kumbaya, wonderful," before noting that Republicans used reconciliation "pretty good" when they wielded the gavel.
Do we detect a subtle eye roll at the insistence that the minority party is somehow entitled to deference amounting to a veto? If so, the GOP isn't in on the joke.
"I think they felt a little bit betrayed by the representations that they were getting about the Democrats' intentions," Senate Minority Whip John Thune complained to Politico. "And then having their leadership and the White House short-circuiting that and doing it all through reconciliation."
"This is the smartest and best place for the president to start on his unity promises," West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito sniffed. "That's where I think the president has to show the leadership of what he has said he wants to do."
And Susan Collins is always and forever Susan Collins.
"The president is sincere in his commitment to bipartisanship. That's the way he always operated when he was a senator," she warbled. "And from my conversations with him since the election, it seems clear to me that he wants to continue to operate that way."
As for Democrats, they're not waiting for Gippers to dick around six more weeks before concluding that they can't support a meaningful relief package because of their recently rediscovered concern for the deficit, or some such nonsense.
"The Senate, as early as next week, will begin the process of considering a very strong Covid relief bill. Our preference is to make this important work bipartisan, to include input, ideas and revisions from our Republican colleagues," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them."
"We want it to be bipartisan always but we can't surrender if they're not going to be doing that. We cannot not have it happen, we have to act," Speaker Pelosi told reporters, noting that there's nothing like a deadline to concentrate the mind. "I do think we have more leverage getting cooperation on the other side if they know we have an alternative," she said.
"I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it," the president said today, "but the COVID relief has to pass. There's no ifs, ands or buts."
Over in the White House briefing room, there was no waffling. "We're not looking to split the package," Jen Psaki said yesterday. "We're not going to do this in a piecemeal way."
Polite but firm, as she should be.
Unlike Your Wonkette, who should be foulmouthed and messy. Which we are! So fuck right off, Mitch. We wasted the first two years of the Obama administration trying to make nice with people who wanted to burn our house down. Never again! We won Georgia because we promised real money for COVID relief, and if reconciliation is what it takes to deliver, then do it now.
Also now? OPEN THREAD.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.