When the House passed that second big Phase 2 stimulus bill for $104 billion with sick leave and free coronavirus testing and emergency unemployment benefits, where was Mitch? Not working with Pelosi on the package. He was in Kentucky taking a victory lap for having gotten an unqualified judge on to the federal bench, for life. Not only did he fight against providing paid sick leave in that bill, he dragged his feet through an entire week before finally allowing it to pass. Then he was so pissed that the House got something done while he was so publicly AWOL, he tried to shut Democrats out of the process of negotiation for the next bill, the Phase 3 CARES Act.
Sure, he initially allowed Democratic senators in the meetings, but he forged ahead with a bill that Democrats had to reject—the $500 billion corporate giveaways and the massive tax break to the extremely rich. The Democrats refused to let that pass until there was also help for actual people, not just $1,200 in one-time payments, but real assistance with boosted unemployment insurance and that small business loan program that the administration initially totally screwed up and that is now the subject of the big fight Trump was talking about above.
Right now, McConnell is trying to force another $250 billion through Congress for that program. Democrats are fine with that, but want to make sure that it goes to the businesses who need it the most, and while they’re at it, getting a big cash infusion to the hospitals and state and local governments that are still drowning. Seriously, this should not be controversial at all for Republicans—it’s going to have to happen anyway and it NEEDS to happen NOW.
That’s the reality. It’s the reality anyone who doesn’t feel like they have to minimize McConnell’s perfidy in order to keep their access to him.