Negotiations over an economic stimulus bill to ease the pain of Americans and businesses caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns across the country are not going well, at least partially because Democrats are hoping to leverage the crisis to get some unrelated reforms passed.
Congressional Republicans say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and other Democrats are pushing for labor and environmental provisions in the stimulus package that have nothing to do with addressing the health and economic harm of COVID-19.
"Here are some of the items on the Democratic wish list, over which they choose to block this legislation last night," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday. "Tax credits for solar energy and wind energy. Provisions to force employers to give special new treatment to big labor. And listen to this: New emissions standards for the airlines. Are you kidding me? ... Democrats won't let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal."
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) confirmed an earlier report from Townhall's Guy Benson about the demands.
"I can confirm this," Crenshaw wrote on Twitter. "This is what Democrats torpedoed the rescue package for. This will go down as one of the most cynical, disgusting, malevolent actions in history. Millions are losing jobs while they play these games."
A vote to move forward on a more than $1 trillion stimulus bill failed as Republicans were unable to get any Democratic support to get the needed 60 votes. Five Republican senators are in self-quarantine due to either a positive coronavirus test or suspected contact with an infected person.
The stimulus package included direct aid payments to Americans and measures to support small businesses and large corporations that are struggling and being forced to cut workers. Democratic leaders claim the GOP bill does too much for big corporations and not enough for workers.
TheBlaze contacted the offices of Pelosi and Schumer for comment and has not received a response.