Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: Recovery Efforts Continue

Washington, October 9, 2020

Taxpayer-funded government checks and amnesty for illegal immigrants; $600 million decrease in funding for American law enforcement; legalized ballot harvesting nationwide; taxpayer bailouts for mismanaged state and local governments that had billion dollar deficits prior to coronavirus; and taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. These are just some of the outrageous items included in Speaker Pelosi’s “HEROES Act 2.0,” the latest so-called coronavirus relief package. Most of us agree more support is needed, but I haven’t had a single person here in Missouri tell me direct checks to illegal immigrants, cuts to law enforcement, and weakened election security are the answers to their concerns. 

When looking at the details of the bill that was forced through the House last week, it’s clear that President Trump and the Administration know Speaker Pelosi is not negotiating in good faith, but rather pushing a partisan agenda to gain political points. What’s worse is the Speaker knows there are bills in the House right now that would pass today and be signed into law tomorrow. In fact, the only reason she brought last week’s bill to the floor was to prevent members of the Democrat caucus who face tough elections from joining with Republicans to force a vote on and pass a bill that actually provides relief. 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) still has $138 billion in unused funds that should be going to small businesses and their employees who continue to struggle. I cosponsored a bill with the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee, Steve Chabot to restart the PPP and get that money to the American people. House members on both sides of the aisle strongly support the bill. It’s straightforward and is free of earmarks and political poison pills. But Speaker Pelosi refuses to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. 

You’re probably asking yourself, why? What is so hard about taking the things everyone agrees on and passing it? The answer is: nothing. That bill would pass almost unanimously. But the truth is anything less than the demands included in her bill could be considered a win for President Trump, and that is not a risk she is willing to take - no matter what.  It’s the worst of politics and Washington, D.C. 

I know as citizens it is often disappointing to watch these negotiations fail, and I assure you, I share in that frustration. America needs real relief and this is absolutely not the time for political games. The good news is despite the nonsense in Washington, I continue to meet people who are optimistic about the future. Vaccines and therapeutics are being developed as we speak and unemployment just dropped below 8% for the first time since the start of the pandemic. There is still plenty of work to do, but we are learning to live with the realities of the day and not let them control our lives. As long as we keep looking out for each other and remain vigilant, our country will be thriving once again very soon.