Are Democrats or Republicans More to Blame for the Covid Impasse?

Mish

There is plenty of blame to go around but where is the preponderance?

A bipartisan coalition has been working to reach a Covid compromise on state and local aid plus a liability shield. 

The bickering seems endless. It's been ongoing since September.

The Wall Street Journal reports GOP Leaders See Bipartisan Group’s Covid-Aid Effort Falling Short.

Top Senate Republicans signaled Thursday they wouldn’t accept a bipartisan group’s efforts to craft a compromise on state and local governments and liability protections during the pandemic, undercutting the coalition’s attempt to break the months-long impasse over a coronavirus relief package.

“My sense is that they’re not going to get there on the liability language,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.) told reporters Thursday. “Even though they spent a lot of time trying to come up with sort of creative, innovative solutions to it, they’re just not going to be able to thread the needle.”

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday night told the staff of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) that he didn’t see any possible path from the bipartisan group on those two contentious issues that would be acceptable to Republicans, according to a senior Democrat familiar with the conversations.

The Issues

  1. Republicans want immunity for businesses. Democrats don't.
  2. Democrats want more state aid and Republicans don't.
  3. Trump wants another broad round of checks. Neither a majority of Republicans or Democrats want that but the Progressives side with Trump, a curious mix. 

Trump muddied the water for no reason, siding with Bernie Sanders of all people. 

Previously, Trump objected to blanket checks on the basis some people make more being unemployed than employed. He was correct then, not now.

But that is not where the blame goes. 

Easy Compromise

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel came up with an easy compromise: Put off liability and other contentious issues until next year and agree on a basic package.

Until this week, Mr. McConnell had said that any package that passes the Senate must include beefed-up legal protections for businesses, schools and other entities operating during the pandemic. On Tuesday, Mr. McConnell instead urged moving forward with a smaller relief package that omits both the liability provision that Republicans want, as well as state and local funding, a Democratic priority, saying they could potentially be addressed next year.  

Our Democratic colleagues have not even let us pass noncontroversial money to invest in vaccine distribution,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Not unless the two parties settle a whole list of issues that are controversial the way they want.”

Pandemic Benefits Expire

On December 26, all the pandemic benefits at the Federal level expire in every state.

For many states and millions of people, Federal benefits have already expired. 

McConnell's compromise would get checks into the hands of the unemployed and provide money for vaccine distribution as well.

Nancy Pelosi suggested liability for 6 months, but that solves nothing.  Lawyers would wait 6 months then fire a barrage of lawsuits. 

Ironically, McConnell's compromise leaves intact all lawsuits if you spend 2 seconds to think about it. 

The Blame?

This one is easy. Nearly all of the blame goes to the Democrats for not accepting McConnell's offer to do something that both sides agree on. 

If Trump were to veto such a package, then the blame would go to Trump (or Republicans for not overriding the veto).

Finally, Pelosi keeps wanting the compromise she may have gotten last month. However, "last month" keeps changing. 

She is the one who negotiated in bad faith expecting to ram through a Democrat wish list in January. She expected Democrats to win the Senate and to pick up seats in the House. 

But just as people spoke against Trump, they spoke against massive Democrat social programs including bailouts of corrupt states like Illinois whose pension plans have gone amuck.

Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking on the unemployed.

For discussion of expiring benefits and the number of people affected, please see Unemployment Claims Jump to Highest Level Since September

Mish

Comments (63)
No. 1-22
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

The real blame goes to the american people for putting up with representatives that would rather spend tax payer money on military than citizens.

njbr
njbr

The Republicans (Trump and Congress) have not held a steady position on another stimulus from the the spring--all the way from zero to 2 trillion. It moves every day, depending on the audience and circumstance. It's still oscillating wildly.

When Mr. Chao says he'll do something, Trump says he will only sign another plan.

The entire Republican party is infected with the idea "it'll just go away", and when the virus doesn't, they waffle.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

State and local governments most to blame because they caused the economic fallout, not the federal government, not the virus itself, either. Stay safe and stay stupid!

njbr
njbr

Meanwhile, because covid is the economy right now...

GSK and Sanofi vaccine trials prove ineffective in older people. Australian vaccine abandoned because of false HIV positive results in test subjects. And, the question for the Pfizer vaccine remains--it may prevent illness, but does it prevent transmission? And, Pfizer's delivery of the first limited order of vaccine to the US will be complete by March, and none will available in the second quarter.

DanielHolzer
DanielHolzer

McConnell has been stonewalling and negotiating in bad faith (or leaving the negotiation to Mnuchin, knowing it would be DOA in the senate) for 6 months now. Not that there isn't blame to go around, but to say that the Democrats are more to blame for not jumping on the first offer without a poison pill within 3 days is a little harsh. And I understand their position. Judging by past actions, if McConnell wins one of the Georgia seats, we are unlikely to see a single legislation action from him to help the American people for the next 2 years. I'm sure he will rely on the normal midyear deficit for a sitting president to pick up (or at least keep) his seats in 2022, and would not lift a finger to save his own grandmother if Biden would get credit for it.

randocalrissian
randocalrissian

None of the blue or red jackalopes that have the power to make a deal care enough about the people to do so. Our leaders suck. Maybe Mitch is right on this one, but it's balanced out by other failures, as is the case with the lot of them.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

The Turtle has been stonewalling on this for May. And disagree that putting aside the other things is the right idea as they will never again see the light of day.

KidHorn
KidHorn

A big part of the problem are both sides have historically added riders that have nothing to do with economic relief.

amigator
amigator

We are to blame because for some unknown reason we keep electing the same xxxxxxxxxxxxx politicians! We are getting exactly what we deserve!

MarkraD
MarkraD

"It's only 15 cases, soon will be zero"

This is ALL Trump, had he listened to health professionals instead invoking his arrogant know-it-all hubris we might have contained this last Spring to the extent we wouldn't need such massive stimulus.

To that, thank God Trump didn't figure out a way to force the CDC to "acknowledge" HCQ as a cure via some whacko claim of executive power.

Realist
Realist

What an odd question. Who is ”more” to blame? As long as the US continues to waste time and energy on such senseless questions, nothing is ever going to be accomplished in your country. I agree with amigator’s sentiment that you are all to blame.

However, there have been leaders in your country who in the past took it upon themselves to accept responsibility for America’s failings. I believe the phrase was ”The buck stops here.”

Rbm
Rbm

Our system has moved away from representing the people of their state. It is now team red vs team blue and matches are based on party values not the needs of the country or individual state.

Rbm
Rbm

Ill put the major blame on trump. All he had do was put on a mask with the American flag on it. Asked everyone to do it for their country his base would have ate it up. Are problems with covid would be less along with related issues. So republicans. Instead of blanket protections from lawsuits. I think is osha should cover it. The states can adjust their budgets and worry about shortfalls later

stanleyh
stanleyh

Liability protection + less state aid = local economies opens and more people go back to work and earn a living

no liability protection + more state aid = local economies stay shut down and more people stay at home and collect checks while not working

hardly shocking

njbr
njbr

More vaccine news--AstraZenica to start new trial for vaccine, trying to confirm previous effect noted with low first dose and higher second dose.

Warped speed.

blunderdog
blunderdog

But the Democrats in the House passed a bill back in May that covered all of this. McConnell has not put it on the Senate calendar.
If you really want to blame the Democrats, of course you will, but it's dishonest to ignore that part of the story.
If McConnell had put the House bill through the reconciliation process, there would be a strong argument that the Democrats are to blame. But he has not done his job regarding that bill.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I think what’s lacking is the fear factor that existed back in the spring...back then the congress was willing to compromise because they knew the threat was real, existential and immediate.

Now, it’s just about money for some poor people. Yawn.

Let them eat cake.

The politicians don’t see the train wreck that’s coming. I wish they did, but they won’t get off their asses until the coming recession gets so bad they have to do something....and that day will come, and not too long in the future.

I don’t favor the liability protection....it’s just a bone thrown to the meat packers and other big employers who put minimum wage laborers at risk..and passing it could raise the bar forever and lead to even more abuses down the line.

I’m an employer, and I’m not asking for this kind of protection. I protect my people, and they know it.

But at this point in the pandemic I worry that we might all have to quarantine any day, due to someone calling me to tell me they came in for a routine visit yesterday or the day before...... and today they tested positive. I expect that to happen, unless we can get the numbers down quickly.

Sechel
Sechel

Pelosi clearly mis-calculated. But if she had accepted a deal states would have still not gotten what they need. It's clear though its not siply McConnnel but the entire Republican leadership who doesn't want states getting money.

RunnrDan
RunnrDan

"Trump wants another broad round of checks. Neither a majority of Republicans or Democrats want that but the Progressives side with Trump, a curious mix."

Weird that the one and only guy looking out for the little people is President Trump. He will be missed.

Webej
Webej

In any normal board or council meeting, it would be perfectly acceptable to split a larger proposal into constituent parts, and entertain debate and proposals piecemeal. The reason that Congress won't is (a) they are buttressing positions by holding the American people hostage; and (b) they are not deciding on the basis of the merits/faults of different proposals.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Pelosi is the one who negotiated in bad faith expecting to ram through a Democrat wish list in January. She expected Democrats to win the Senate and to pick up seats in the House.

But just as people spoke against Trump, they spoke against massive Democrat social programs including bailouts of corrupt states like Illinois whose pension plans have gone amuck.

pmc045
pmc045

Democrats...Pelosi admitted such...


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