Soon after taking office, Joe Biden presented an aggressive COVID relief plan. Seeing how the pandemic has affected both Democrats and Republicans in the same way, the legislation was very popular with voters all along the political spectrum.
Biden made many promises. First and foremost were those of leading us out of the pandemic and improving the lives of Americans. He is doing that by choosing to see the plight of Americans rather than negotiating with a mean and greedy blindness.
If Democrats want to save democracy and work toward unity, they must remove the obstacle of the filibuster.
The Senate is about to use a trick called “reconciliation” to pass Joe Biden’s Covid relief bill. Many Democrats want to go further and use this arcane rule to pass all kinds of policies that would never otherwise make it through – a rise in the minimum wage, climate policies, infrastructure, etc. But Tori Gorman, a budget expert at the Concord Coalition, says that might be a big mistake.
Listen to the full conversation here:
The following is an edited excerpt of our conversation on the Great Ideas podcast:
We keep hearing about splits in the Republican ranks between those who have sold their souls to the extremist arm of the party loyal to Trumpism, embodying white supremacist and anti-democratic values, and those more traditional Republicans who insist on sharply differentiating the ideology of conservativism from Trumpism.
Watching the senate, under the callous and inhumane rule of Mitch McConnell, fail to respond sufficiently and urgently to the dire suffering and needs of out-of-work Americans, largely denying their reality, brought to mind a scene from American author William Dean Howells’ 1890 novel A Hazard of New Fortunes.
Donald Trump is on his way out of the White House looking like a bit of a loser. The president would much prefer to leave office on a high note. Time and time again he’s attempted to take credit for the COVID-19 vaccines. It hasn’t worked out for him.
So on Tuesday night, Trump again tried to endear himself to the American people. The president ripped into a bill agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans calling it a disgrace. Trump argued that the $600 stimulus check was not enough and argued it should be $2,000.
The argument from Trump not only played directly into the hands of Democrats, it also left many questions about when there would be relief for Americans.
During a Wednesday appearance on Fox‘s The Five, Geraldo Rivera wondered what the plan was going forward.
“Everyone’s been focused on Congress and all of the pork spending and the obvious itemization of ridiculous things… What about the president? He’s threatening a veto. He’s gone on Christmas holiday. What the hell are we supposed to do now? The president has said this is no good. What about the defense authorization part of this? What about paying the military? What happens when all this funding is exhausted on the day after Christmas or thereabouts? We needed some leadership here… He’s the a leader of the free world. Give us some guidance. Now what are they supposed to do? He is going to Mar-a-Lago. Is Nancy Pelosi going to meet with Mitch McConnell? Are they going to get together and get a plan? What are the American people going to do? We are left adrift right now.”