Democrats Block Action on $1.8 Trillion Stimulus

Check Back in Later to See If I Change This Title

Tyler Piteo-Tarpy
5 min readMar 25, 2020


Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

I’m actually a little surprised the New York Times went with this headline in the first place. Instead of complaining that they changed it twice after to make Democrats look better, maybe we should be celebrating this progress for them.

Think about it, their first instinct was to report the truth; this time, it was only their second and third instincts to cover the truth up. That’s one small step for journalistic integrity, one giant leap for the Times.

Anyway, here’s how this terrible event played out:

The Senate had been working on a bill, through their recess, to provide economic aid to people and businesses who are negatively affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

As far as I can tell, the bill was designed to have bipartisan support and many Republicans were surprised it didn’t receive any Democratic support on the first vote last Sunday evening.

Sunday morning, Nancy Pelosi had returned from the House’s recess and her “and McConnell met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in hopes of hammering out a final agreement before the afternoon Senate vote.

The result of that meeting was that Pelosi announced the House was going to write their own bill; but not only that, she also rejected the Monday deadline McConnell had set to pass any sort of legislation.

So what happens? The procedural vote that got moved to the evening is blocked by Democrats, 47 to 47. By the way, a procedural vote isn’t even a vote on the bill, it’s a vote to debate the bill.

Right after Pelosi comes back from recess, Democrats throw away all the work the Senate had done and refuse to even debate it. But don’t worry, it gets worse, much worse.

On Monday, McConnell “announced another procedural vote on the package timed for 9:45 a.m. Monday,” hopeful that the market, which opened just shortly before, would have some good news to reflect.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer objected to that plan and got the vote moved to 1 p.m., which again saw Democrats block debate on the bill anyway, 49 to 46. So now all the Senate’s work is officially caput; what did we get in its place?

Pelosi’s new bill includes such provisions as student loan debt forgiveness, US Postal Service debt forgiveness, same-day voter registration, early voting, airline carbon-emission restrictions, diversity quotas, restricting colleges from providing citizenship status’, giving $35 million to the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, discounted phone services, etc., you know, everything we need to stop people going bankrupt from the coronavirus lockdown.

This is clearly an attempt to take advantage of an emergency in the worst possible way. Couldn’t Pelosi and the Democrats have just hidden a clause in there saying they each get a million dollars and be done with it? I would have been less disgusted at that than at what they really did.

The bill is 1400 pages long. Did anyone check if the million dollars clause isn’t in there?

Okay, Pelosi’s bill is terrible. But the Democrats must have had some justification for blocking the Senate bill; what was it?

According to The Washington Post, “Democrats, though, said McConnell’s bill is tilted too far in favor of corporations and doesn’t include much oversight for $500 billion in loans and guarantees that could go to firms selected by the Treasury Department.

And according to the infamous New York Times article, “Democrats denounced the package as a corporate giveaway that favored big business over workers and failed to ensure that bailed-out companies would not enrich themselves after receiving government aid. They were particularly incensed at the inclusion of a provision that would give the Federal Reserve access to $425 billion that could be leveraged for loans to broad groups of flailing companies, leaving Congress with little or no say in which businesses could receive assistance or how it could be used.

So they have two main arguments, the Senate bill was too “corporate” focused and the unallocated loans have too little oversight as to how they are distributed and used.

Let’s ignore the fact that these are both issues that could have been addressed and potentially solved during debate and get right into my counter-arguments.

For starters, this website explains that, in fact, most of the loans would be subject to oversight from the Government Accountability Office, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department.

Secondly, what gives Congress the right to decide how loans are distributed? Based on what they did to the relief bill, I’d say they aren’t qualified to decide what’s important and what’s not. But furthermore, why do the corporations need oversight anyway?

The government shut these private businesses down; This isn’t a “bail-out,” as the Times claims. Wouldn’t it be weird for the government to say you must stop your means of making money, and also, we’ll only give you loans as compensation if you do what we tell you to?

Why would the government know more about managing a business than the business they’d be managing? And who came up with the idea that loans to businesses will only benefit the higher-ups? That they would “enrich themselves after receiving government aid”?

A business becomes more profitable through self-investment and expansion, both requiring employees. Of course the loans will go towards keeping employees because you wouldn’t have a business without employees. Any business that used these loans to line the CEO’s pockets will soon no longer be in business.

This whole situation is so dumb. This is the first time I’ve actually understood why people say vote blue no matter who. I’ve always considered my vote based on candidates’ policies, regardless of the party they run as; but with all this, I now understand the appeal of announcing to the world that you will reject a certain party out of principal.

However, the Republican party needs a balance, a force working against it; we can’t resort to a single-party system. And I still have hope that the Democratic party can redeem themselves, maybe once Nancy Pelosi is gone. In the meantime, could we get a real coronavirus relief bill?



Tyler Piteo-Tarpy

Essayist, poet, screenwriter, and comer upper of weird ideas. My main focus will be on politics and philosophy but when I get bored, I’ll write something else.