Rod Lamkey/CNP via ZUMA
For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Republicans plan to go ahead with a symbolic vote on their “skinny” stimulus plan:
Senate Republicans plan to force a vote Thursday on their substantially scaled-back stimulus plan, in a maneuver all but guaranteed to fail amid opposition by Democrats who call the measure inadequate. After months of struggling to overcome deep internal divisions over the scope of another relief measure, Republicans hope to present a near-united front in support of their latest plan. They can then try to blame the continuing impasse on Democrats, who are expected to oppose it en masse, denying it the 60 votes it would need to advance.
The Republican plan would amount to net new spending of $300 billion, about a tenth of the $3 trillion Democrats are asking for. And I confess I don’t get it. No one is trying to raise taxes on the rich. No one is proposing benefits for the “undeserving” poor. No one is trying to bail out a Democratic president. No one is pretending that the economy is anywhere near to bouncing back yet. No one wants to use the stimulus money to fund abortions or gun registration or gay marriages.
So what’s the problem? We know that the vast majority of Republicans don’t really care about the budget deficit, so it can’t be that. Relieving the financial stress on millions of voters would surely be good for Donald Trump, so partisan politics can’t be the answer. Everyone in Congress represents a state that desperately needs help, so it can’t be a geographic thing.
And yet Republicans refuse to support a serious stimulus/rescue plan. I really, truly don’t understand. Is it just habit? Automatic opposition to anything Democrats like? What on earth is the problem?