Mitch Gets Obstructed

I’m reading that the Senate has nearly come to blows over the third stimulus bill. Democrats need to hold their ground; it’s a terrible bill. This Vox article explains the main ponts of contention pretty clearly. See also Greg Sargent, The GOP just smuggled another awful provision into the stimulus and Paul Waldman, Why we can’t trust Trump on the big bailout ‘slush fund.’

The primary issue is the “slush fund” which would give Steve Mnuchin a half trillion dollars to hand out to corporations enitrely at Mnuchin’s discretion, with no transparency whatsoever. Mnuchin is thoroughly corrupt; I wouldn’t trust him to watch my coffee for ten seconds. See Charles Pierce, No Thinking Person Would Vote to Give Steven Mnuchin a Blank Check.

Five GOP senators are in quarantine — Rand Paul is infected — and Mitch McConnell is resisting holding a remote vote. The Republican 53-47 majority has shrunk to 48-47, and Republicans need 60 votes to move forward. And so far, the Democrats have been united. Even Joe Manchin is refusing to switch sides and got into a shouting match with Mitch McConnell today

“You can throw all the money at Wall Street you want to,” Manchin said after McConnell blamed Democrats for a stalled stimulus bill. “People are afraid to leave their homes. They’re afraid of the health care. I’ve got workers who don’t have masks. I’ve got health care workers who don’t have gowns.”

“And it looks like we’re worried more about the economy than we are the health care and the wellbeing of the people of America,” the West Virginia senator complained.

Good for you, Senator. But as it is, the Senate can’t do anything without some Democratic votes, and so far the Dems are standing together. We’ll see if McConnell budges. No doubt the plan all along was to slam the Dems on obstructionism, anyway. But they need to pass a bill. Somebody must budge.

The NY Times editorial board:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky failed to do his job this weekend. As the economy spiraled downward, Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said he would produce a bipartisan bailout bill authorizing an infusion of desperately needed aid.

Instead, Mr. McConnell emerged on Sunday evening with a bill that would provide a lot of help for corporate executives and shareholders, and not nearly enough for American workers. It would let the Treasury Department hand out hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations — potentially including businesses owned by President Trump — without requiring a binding commitment to preserve jobs and wages. And the bailouts could remain secret for six months.

Senate Democrats, refusing to play along, blocked the bill in a procedural vote on Sunday night and again on Monday afternoon. But responsibility for the deadlock rests squarely on Mr. McConnell’s shoulders.

The markets fell further today, which no doubt has the Creature in the White House enraged. It’s up to you, Mitch. As I write this Trump is on the teevee saying the Senate should pass the bill as written. This should not be a time for political agendas, he says. Like that GOP isn’t a political agenda?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, dismisses the impeachment process against President Donald Trump saying, “I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process,” as he meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

6 thoughts on “Mitch Gets Obstructed

  1. Is anyone surprised that Moscow Mitch and the RepubliKKKLANS want the money to go to the rich and their corporations rather than ordinary people?

    Ordinary people don't contribute to Super PAC's..

    Ordinary people don't bring politicians along on our private jets to discuss deals in privacy – mainly because none if us have no private jets.

    Ordinary people don't pay for fully-paid junkets to exotic and expensive locations – mainly 'cuz we never been to none ourselveds

    Ordinary people don't hire the offspring or cronies of pol's to highly paid, no-show jobs. 

    Plus, Moscow Mitch, we ordinary people just paid over $1,000,000,000,000+ out of OUR tax dollars to your rich and corporate pals – who pay virtually no taxes at all – and were promised more jobs at higher pay as a result.  We're STILL WAITING, Moscow Mitch, three years after we gave them the money, and no jobs, and no raises!! 

    Fool us once, shame on you.

    Fool us twice, and we take our money, and buy stuff to make tumbrels and guillotines!

    Let the revolution start NOW!!!!!

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  2. I've been reading about the impasse on this bill, and I didn't understand why the Dems blocked it – thanks for the story. Pretty amazing when Manchin finally realizes what's at stake, and remembers whose side he’s supposed to be on.

    Book review Mitch, Please!. It’s kind of amazing how unpopular he is in KY.

  3. A bill that originates in the House is no less significant than one that originates in the Senate.  I'd like to see the House pass two bills – the one they're working on which is comprehensive and second – a copy of just the section of the McConnell bill that's mutually acceptable – unemployment and assistance for individuals. 

    Toss the hot potato back to Mitch. We can do aid to citizens right now according to your terms, which we've mutually agreed to. And we'll debate how to bail out Wall Street tomorrow. Wall Street doesn't have an urgent need – not like I do. Their recovery depends on an economic restart that can't begin until the virus is on a leash. 

    I'd like to hear Krugman on this but IMO, a healthy economy is money in motion. That's not happening. I'm not doing anything but essential spending.  Many are doing less than that because they have even less money than I. The economy isn't stagnant, but it's moving slowly and dead stopped in some sections. 

    The recovery can't happen with malls closed, no airline travel, no hotels and social interaction a deadly risk. We have to take down the virus first – before we try to jump-start the economy. An economic restart has two components – capital for business AND money in the pockets of consumers. Prosperity can't work  until consumers are optomistic about job security and their health. 

  4. Read talking points memo, the article from the California physician about zero federal response while NY and West Coast , blue states suffer most. The venality of Trump party knows no bounds.

    Who owns the company that makes the malaria drug trump falsely claims will work. Who pays him to claim it?

    If GOP has 500 billion slush fund for the election, won't corporation s buy more of their own cheaper stocks now?

    All of my life i have seen republicans run the country into a hole over and over and then blame the rest of us while they grab the money and run and the messes they made for a Democrat to clean up. Power and money is their only agenda ever.

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  5. Throw capitalism under the bus says Trump and Mitch.  It is a time of crisis and the free market must be smacked with a tranquilizer gun lest it take out the weak and failing companies.  Replace it all with bail out money so the limping, failing enterprises who are existing on cheap money can survive.  Cash for trash is their slogan and they want to do it with borrowed money.  On our credit card.  Give me a break.  Are not these the same clowns that pimp their faithful to yell SOCIALIST at any program which aims to help the commonwealth and the general population. 

    The stunning example is the shale oil companies.  The consensus of financial articles I have read contend these companies did not make money even before oil prices plunged.  Now they are dying a proper capitalistic death.  They existed for some time with speculative fever, environmental malfeasance, and borrowed money.  I suppose these are part of the cash for trash industries that need saving in the present plan.  Oh, and they can be "saved" in secret by a pure SOCIALIST plan with borrowed money.  These are the companies that were dying along with the coal companies in what Trump claimed was the best economy ever.  

    The reason that companies are not people is that we need to care if people die.  In capitalism, true capitalism, death is the proper end for outdated, mismanaged, or unneeded or ineffective companies.  Only a few might need life support to survive this temporary crisis.  Are we to say that capitalism is too weak to pick the essential companies out and the private sector is too worthless as to be unable to provide them proper bail out and credit?  If so just carve those words in stone on the face of the US Senate.  Then date it and sign it with the names of all who passed the cash for trash bill with the full faith and credit of people of the United States. 

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