Nancy Pelosi just showed us that we are in dire need of term limits on politicians. She demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has forgotten that she works for the people, and that the people she is supposed to serve are more important than anything else.
The Federal government passed an emergency pandemic relief package earlier this year. The enhanced unemployment benefits and aid to businesses to keep from paying off employees in that package expired on July 31. Since then, negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been ongoing for a second round of aid to help the economy, which has been devastated from the pandemic. Adding urgency to the issue is that the help for airlines and the travel industry that kept them from laying off employees expired on Sept. 30.
The negotiations have stalled because Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on an overall package. They both do agree on three things: extending enhanced unemployment benefits and aid to businesses that will promise to keep paying employees, extending aid to the airlines and travel industry, and a second stimulus check to lower income households. They disagree over other measures. Democrats proposal includes a number of things, many of which are not directly related to the pandemic and Republicans argue that the relief bill should be targeted to the need from the pandemic. Democrats also want to give money to states to help them. Republicans are worried about the $4 trillion deficit this year and want to allow states to deal with their budget issues themselves, also arguing that states such as Illinois-which had to issue IOUs a few years ago because it couldn’t pay it’s bills—had budget problems long before the pandemic hit the country.
As negotiations went on without agreement, people were suffering and with a the Sept. 30 deadline where several major airlines would have to lay off workers, something had to be done. It seemed only logical to pass the things that both parties said they agreed on, and then they could continue to work on the rest:
- The Senate brought up a bill two weeks ago that would have extended enhanced unemployment benefits to individuals and given loans to businesses to issue paychecks, on the promise that they would not lay off workers.
The bill lost on a vote of 47-52. All 47 Democrats voted against it. A total of 47 Republicans voted for it and 5 voted against it because they felt it was more than could be afforded. The bill lost because not even 3 out of 47 Democrats would vote for the relief, which would have been enough to pass it.
- After that vote, the President said that he would sign a bill that would give a second round of stimulus checks to lower income Americans. Nancy Pelosi said that she would not even allow a vote on it in the House of Representatives.
- The President then said that he would sign a bill that would extend the aid to the airline industry if they would not move forward with the tens of thousands of layoffs. Nancy Pelosi said that she would not even allow a vote on it in the House of Representatives.
Though Thinking Man is non-partisan, there are times that you have to point out problems even if they call out only one party and may come across as partisan. That is the case here.
While Nancy Pelosi has refused even to vote on the things she says that Democrats agree to, tens of thousands of airline workers lost their jobs just this week. Roughly 900,000 people a week are still filing new unemployment claims as the restrictions on the economy continue.
Nancy Pelosi is refusing to help struggling households, and single-handedly forced airlines to lay off tens of thousands of employees just this week, because she is afraid that she will lose leverage to bail out Democratic state governors if she does. Shame on Nancy Pelosi. She has been in office for 30 years and has clearly forgotten that it’s not other governments that she serves, but people.
When you are that out of touch with what your job is, but the power of incumbency keeps you in office, it’s time to pass term limits and make sure we get new faces in Washington more often than every three decades, fresh faces who remember what it’s like to serve the people.