Republicans Blast Pelosi, House Dems’ ‘Liberal Agenda’ Demands in $2 Trillion CCP Virus Relief Bill

March 24, 2020 Updated: March 24, 2020
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WASHINGTON—Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) are using the national emergency caused by the CCP virus to shift control of elections from states to the federal government, according to an Illinois Republican congressman.

“It’s despicable that, while Americans are struggling, Democrats have chosen to not only block much needed assistance for the American people in the Senate, but then introduced legislation that is nothing but a dangerous ploy to federalize elections,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), the ranking minority member of the House Administration Committee, said in a statement issued late on March 23.

“Democrats are trying to sneak in a nationalized ballot harvesting regime, meaning that political operatives in every state would now be able to come to a voter’s house to pick up their ballot and deliver it to the polling location,” Davis said about one of five major election reforms included in Pelosi’s “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act of 2020” (TRWFA).

On March 22, Pelosi blew up the preceding week of bipartisan Senate negotiations that were nearing completion of the $2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package in the Senate and vowed to offer a new House Democratic alternative.

The five election reforms Davis criticized were among a long list of highly partisan TRFWA provisions, with no connection to addressing the CCP virus crisis gripping the nation.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement of the outbreak in Wuhan allowed the virus to spread across China and fan a global pandemic.

In addition to making ballot harvesting a national requirement, the House Democrats’ election reforms include requiring polling places to be within walking distance of public transportation, barring election officials from requiring identification from voters seeking absentee ballots, allowing high school students to be poll watchers, and allowing ballots to be cast from any location.

All of the reforms would be required to be implemented in time for the 2020 presidential election in November, which Davis said isn’t a feasible schedule.

“States are already working around the clock to keep their elections functioning during this national emergency. The last thing they need is for the federal government to impose unnecessary and time-consuming mandates,” Davis said in the statement.

Republicans Complain

Davis’s comments on the House Democrats proposed election reforms came amid a cacophony of congressional Republicans condemning Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for politicizing the CCP virus relief effort.

On March 22 and again on March 23, all Republicans present in the Senate—five are self-quarantining and unable to vote—supported a motion to limit debate on the massive bipartisan relief package to 30 hours and then vote on final passage.

But the motion failed because it required 60 votes for passage and all 45 Democrats and independents Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine opposed it the first time. On the second vote, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) voted with 48 Republicans.

“Instead of taking that legislation—urgent, necessary legislation—and passing it quickly, Democrats have now decided to allow Speaker Pelosi to block it through proxies here in the Senate so that she can rewrite the bill with a ton of crap that has absolutely nothing to do with the public health emergency that we face at this moment,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said during a fiery floor speech following the March 23 vote.

Pointing to a stack of papers on his desk, Sasse said, “I spent a good part of the afternoon reading these 1,119 pages. You might wonder what this is. This is Nancy Pelosi’s last-minute additional Christmas wish list of progressive items that she wants added to the coronavirus relief bill.”

Sasse then cited eight examples and their page numbers in the bill draft, including:

  • Canceling public and private student loans up to $10,000 (pages 421–422);
  • Mandating diversity reports on corporate boards (pages 570–572);
  • Requiring same-day voter registration in all 50 states (page 681);
  • Bailing out the U.S. Postal Service (pages 725–726);
  • Establishing a $15 an hour minimum wage (page 768);
  • Imposing Green New Deal standards on airlines (pages 803–804);
  • Setting funding standards for community newspapers (page 911);
  • Creating the Pension Rehabilitation Administration, a new and permanent bureaucracy (page 931).

“We’ve got families that are suffering,” said Sasse. “We’ve got small businesses that are closing literally by the hour. We have doctors fighting to prevent their hospitals from being overwhelmed.

“And what does Speaker Pelosi try to do? She’s trying to take hostages about her dream legislation, all sorts of dream legislative provisions that have nothing to do with this moment and say the American public can’t get access to the public health piece of legislation or the economic relief pieces of legislation unless she gets hostages that are entirely unrelated to this moment,” he said.

Similarly, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on March 23 that congressional Democrats “are holding the bill hostage for a liberal agenda that won’t sell at the ballot box. Impeachment blew up in their face, they’re playing with political fire, and Democratic senators are not going to play this game much longer.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in the same Fox News interview that Pelosi’s demands also include publicizing race-based pay data for corporations, imposing a diversity quota system for corporate boards of directors, liberalized rules for official time for union officials in collective bargaining negotiations, additional federal funds for sanctuary cities, a $15 federal minimum wage, student loan forgiveness, and a new federally funded study of global warming mitigation.

“I flew back on a red-eye for that meeting Sunday. We were at an agreement, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate had worked together in committee to come up and actually move forward,” McCarthy said.

“Nancy Pelosi walked into the room and you see Chuck Schumer actually kind of fall behind the table,” McCarthy continued, listing Pelosi’s demands.

“This does nothing for those who got laid off today, it does nothing for those who got a positive [CCP virus test] report today. … In my entire life as an elected official, I have never seen such selfishness in these individuals. They would rather have a liberal wish list than the well-being of this country.”

For her part, Pelosi tweeted about her package that it was needed because “the Senate Republicans’ bill put corporations first, not workers & families.” A Pelosi spokesman hasn’t responded to a request from The Epoch Times for an explanation of how the non-pandemic-related items in the package would help combat the disease.

Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc.