House Democrats are embracing the words of Rahm Emanuel, who served as President Barack Obama’s first White House Chief of Staff, who once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) response to the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced in legislative form on Monday. The bill, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, includes a laundry list of Democratic priorities that have nothing to do with treating the virus.
Although we have real concerns with the Senate version of the COVID-19 bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, we are disgusted that Minority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Democrats are playing politics with this pandemic. Sadly, House Democrats are taking it to a new level by pursuing far-left policies during a time of health and economic crises.
We’ve been looking through the text of the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act and the section-by-section summary of the bill and have found several of these provisions. What’s listed below just scratches the surface of House Democrats’ leftist wishlist.
- $35 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Division A, Title VII)
- $300 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (Division A, Title VII)
- $300 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (Division A, Title VII)
- Extension of the paid medical and family leave and sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, past the current termination date of December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2021 (Division B, Section 20003)
- Elimination of the Secretary of Labor’s regulatory authority to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid medical and family leave and sick leave provisions from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Division B, Section 20005)
- $10,000 of student loan debt forgiveness to every existing borrower (Division I, Title I, Section 112)
- Prohibition on federal rulemakings not directly related to COVID-19, which would dramatically slow the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda (Division I, Title IV, Section 401)
- Prohibition on stock buybacks during the COVID-19 crisis that wouldn’t be limited to businesses receiving federal assistance (Division I, Title IV, Section 402)
- Same-day voter registration (Division L, Section 120006)
- Nullification of executive orders 13836, 13837, and 13839 and one presidential memorandum signed by President Trump related to federal employee collective bargaining (Division P, Section 160003)
- Mandate on airlines to include one representative chosen by a labor union representing airline employees (Division R, Title II, Section 205)
- Creation of the Assistance Recycle and Save Program (Division R, Title XII, Section 702)
- $1 billion for the Airline Assistance Recycle and Save Program, which is essentially a “cash for clunkers” program for airplanes (Division R, Title XII, Section 702)
- Expansion of the Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program (Division R, Title XII, Section 703)
- Mandated airline carbon emissions offsets (Division R, Title XII, Section 704)
- $100 million to research sustainable aviation fuels each year between FY 2021 and 2026 (Division R, Title XII, Section 705)
- Permanent expansion of the advance premium tax credit under the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (Division T, Title I, Section 104)
- Extension of the child tax credit through tax year 2025 (Division T, Title II, Subtitle C, Section 221)
- Expansion of the child tax credit between $2,000 and $3,000 and $3,600 for a filer with a child under 6 years of age (Division T, Title II, Subtitle C, Section 223)
- $11 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service (Division N, Section 140001)
- $48.5 billion bailout of multiemployer pension plans through the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (Division T, Title V, Sections 501-508)
- Creation of a new multiemployer retirement plan through the Giving Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act (Division V)
Again, there are many provisions in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act that have nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with COVID-19. Playing politics with the crises that America faces is disgusting, and Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats should be ashamed for pushing far-left policies in response legislation that have nothing to do with COVID-19. The behavior of Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats was already bad enough, but what Pelosi and House Democrats have tried to do is outrageous.