Democrat’s Omnibus Relief Bill Focuses on Everything but Helping Americans Now

March 26, 2020 Updated: March 26, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

Commentary

As the CCP virus spreads through the nation, the economy is already feeling its dire effects, since many businesses and organizations have been shut down for at least a week or more.

Even though Republicans offered a relief bill that would immediately attempt to aid the American people in what small ways a government actually can, Democrats not only blocked it but, on Monday afternoon, offered their own version, the “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.”

The title might sound sweet, but the omnibus package is stuffed with more pork than a sounder of swine. The bill, which is a whopping 1,404 pages, includes $2.5 trillion worth of garbage meant to do everything but offer the American people hope or financial solace during this uncertain time.

Here is a sampling of what’s in the bill, since I doubt you’ll be able to take the time to wade through the tome. The bill contains:

• provisions for “conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections”
• provides $33.2 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “operations, research, and facilities”
• grants $100 million for NASA
• gives $100 million for “Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration”—whatever that means.
• allows nearly $300 million for the IRS for “taxpayer services” and “enforcement,” as if they need more money
• provides $35 million for the “operations and maintenance” of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a lovely place that should be privately funded
• grants $90 million for an HIV program, another worthy cause but another private venture
• specifically allows for $7 million for Gallaudet University, a charter school in Washington, D.C. As a friend wrote on Twitter, and to whom I owe significant credit for pointing out much of this, “Odd seeing one school singled out like this, I’m guessing somebody called in a favor.”
• grants $300 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
• gives $500 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
• provides $300 million for “Migration and Refugee Assistance.”
• offers bailouts to the postal service, literally describing the cancellation of “debt.”
• describes the need to institute “Pay equity—A comparison of pay amongst racial and ethnic minorities (and to the extent possible, results disaggregated by ethnic group), as otherwise known or provided voluntarily board position titles, as well as any leadership and subcommittee assignments.”
• requires airlines to “fully offset the annual carbon emissions of such air carriers for domestic flights beginning in 2025.”
• establishes a “Minority Bank Deposit Program”
• mandates “Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives”

Many of these causes are worthy. Many of the programs suggested here might need some aid or adjustments. But many of these provisions listed are straight social justice propaganda—meant to impress a certain base of voters. Now is not the time to pass a bill like this (or ever, really).

It was disingenuous for Democrats to purposely hold up the Republicans’ relief bill in favor of a “better” option only to put forth a bill that was ten times worse. This bill would not only cost over $2 trillion but simply does not focus on the issue at hand, which is ensuring small business owners and the American economy continues to function, even in the midst of an uncertain, unusual pandemic.

Americans are already losing their jobs; unemployment in many states is skyrocketing: in Arizona, unemployment applications have increased 800 percent in the last month.

I’m not convinced the government is the best entity to bail America out of a looming financial crisis—I think the private sector is much better suited for solutions.

But if politicians are going to help at all, they should spend their time in Washington, D.C. being fully aware of what their districts are facing, what their states need as far as relief, and if or how they can provide such a thing through small packages, not giant omnibus bills full of special interest programs, social justice causes, and pet projects meant only to gain favor and power in a time when many Americans just need temporary aid.

Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.