The big stimulus bill is a done deal and now the sides rush to claim victory for their shoddy job. Say what you will about Pelosi, she held out for a better deal and got a much worse one leaving many to question whether her stubbornness was just politics.
If it was, it was a disgrace as real Americans were hurting through no fault of their own when governments locked down in arbitrary fashion across the country. They made it up as they went along and many suffered.
Now, with both sides claiming victory the next step is the leaks to discredit the other side and someone just leaked on Pelosi in a devastating manner.
As to Trump’s ongoing efforts to overturn the election Pelosi said:
“I’m counting down the hours ‘til he’s gone. I plan to pull him out of there by his hair, his little hands, and his feet.”
For centrist lawmakers, one silver lining of the monthslong leadership stalemate was the opening it provided for real, bipartisan deal-making at the rank-and-file level. It may make them a much more formidable force in the next Congress.
“If the committees are not re-empowered to act the way that they did when I was a relatively new senator?” asked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a leader of the centrist coalition. “Then I think we will continue to see efforts like this take place.”
Collins worked for six weeks to try and get a bipartisan product on the floor. And there were times when it looked like it might not get there.
First, what became known as the centrist “908 Coalition” only produced a stimulus framework. But eventually they drafted hundreds of pages of bill text. When they finally released it, the hard work began.
Last Tuesday, Collins pressed McConnell in a Republican conference call to use their bill as the starting point, particularly since it reflected the GOP leader’s suggestion to drop contentious state and local funding and a liability shield.
Collins explained how hard the group worked on the legislation and that it should underpin the new law. McConnell was noncommittal, vowing only to have his staff examine the text. He later praised the group as “helpful.”
That moment was the culmination of negotiations that started just three hours after Collins went to bed on election night. At 7:35 a.m. the next morning, Collins received a call from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). After a quick congratulations, the conversation quickly turned to coronavirus relief.
“Something had to be done,” Manchin said later in an interview. “Nothing was happening at all.”