This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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With the election already underway and election day under two-weeks away, the Congress and the Senate are looking at two very important issues that will define the United States for the next several decades. The first issue is the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, which is placing a constitutionalist on the bench shifting the liberal majority of the last 50 years to a more centrist approach. The second, while not as glamorous, is the passing of the second stimulus package for the American people.
The Second Stimulus
The debate over the stimulus package is one of the classic debates in Washington: “What should we do with the people’s money?” Democrats and Republicans often get confused, equating the money of the people with the money belonging to Washington. In this case, we see Mitch McConnell and hard-liners (on both sides of the aisle) taking a position that we can not afford to give people money to keep the economy going. If they would get out of their offices and off their stages, they would see that we can not afford not to help people who are struggling.
The stimulus checks and extended unemployment are very popular with most Americans. This is something that both sides should be able to reach across the aisles and agree upon. Likewise, a slight majority of Americans support extended testing and contact tracing; this also should be something that is seen as the general welfare. The emergency aid to states, while unpopular, is the duty of Congress – we are all Americans even if some people elected the likes of Tom Wolf and Gretchen Whitmer.
We have an economy that is just starting into a recovery, a recovery that we need in the United States. The stimulus package, along with a canceling of all Chinese debt, would allow the United States to surge back into a strong economy. Without the stimulus, we risk going back to the Obama-era anemic growth.
McConnell’s obstinate attitude is becoming a drag to the conservative movement in the United States. Yes, we all oppose overspending on stupid things in the government. However, when it is the American people you are spending the money on, calling them stupid “things” is not in the best interest of your party or the political movement. Those in Washington are elected as representatives, mouthpieces if you will; they are not leaders and their private battles should not come into play.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has played McConnell right into a trap. She knows that the more conservative members of the Senate will fight against increased spending because they, like some Democrats, are beholden to the “no new spending pledge.” This puts him at odds with the President who is fighting to help Americans, not the political lobbies. This wedge is acting as a very effective election tool, forcing some who would go out and vote to stay at home, and with others ignoring down-ballot races.
Flipping the Trap
If McConnell cares about the election and the election of other Senators and Representatives in the United States, then he must hold his nose and bring whatever bill the Treasury Secretary and Pelosi bring the floor. Yes, there will be parts that we do not like. Yes, there will be parts that they do not like. But the American people need help, and they need it soon.
If a bill is offered next week, as it appears, and McConnell does bring it to the floor, it puts Democrats on the line, voting on a bill that Donald Trump supports. At worst, it keeps the balance in the Senate (at least on this issue). At best, it causes the ultra-progressive wing of the Democrat party to defect to the Greens or some other party. The bill, while expensive, is what will save the country and maybe even the Republican Party.