Pelosi: 'Every Crisis' is an 'Opportunity' to Advance the Democrats' Agenda
Democratic House speaker reveals coronavirus an 'opportunity' to push leftist policies
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated Wednesday that "every crisis," including the coronavirus pandemic, is an "opportunity" to advance the Democrats' leftist agenda.
Pelosi made the remarks during a press conference regarding phase four of her coronavirus relief bill, the HEROES Act.
“We have to open the economy, we have to do so in a way that gives more opportunity for access to care, to credit, to opportunity,” Pelosi said.
“Just as Mr. Clyburn said, this is an opportunity, every crisis is,” Pelosi added.
The Democrat leader was referencing U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC).
Before the passage of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill in March, Clyburn said that the bill was a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Pelosi rebuked media reports that the HEROES Act was partisan.
“Nobody said that when Mitch McConnell put forth his bill, CARES one,” she said.
House Democrats passed the $3 trillion, 1,815-page leftist Heroes Act in May, which many House Democrats reportedly admitted serves as more of a “policy wishlist” than a bill to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Privately, several House Democrats concede their latest bill feels like little more than an effort to appease the most liberal members of the caucus, many of whom were chafed that their most important priorities were minimized or ignored entirely in previous coronavirus negotiations.
The Heroes Act contains many leftist provisions, including:
- Eliminates limitations on the federal deduction for the state and local taxes (SALT). Republicans limited this deduction through the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The SALT deduction primarily benefits wealthy, largely Democrat states.
- Grants additional aid for State and local government bailouts. The bill contains $500 billion in funding for state government relief and $375 billion in aid to local governments. Senate Republicans such as Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have contended this will particularly aid fiscally irresponsible blue states such as California, New York, and Illinois to the detriment of more fiscally responsible states such as Texas and Florida.
- $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions, $20 million for Howard University, $11 million for Gallaudet University, $11 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
- Relief for up to $10,000 of up-front debt relief for all Department of Education loan borrowers.
- Mandatory early voting for every state and mandatory mail-in ballots for every state. Nate Madden, a press secretary for the House Oversight Committee Republicans, said it would be a “nightmare scenario for voter fraud.”
- Allows wealthy people who make money from dividends and royalties to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is designed for lower-income Americans.
- Extends assistance designed for nonprofits to political action groups and chamber of commerce-style associations. Open Markets Institute fellow Matt Stoller called it a “corporate lobbyist bailout.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi claimed the Heroes Act is “disciplined, focused, necessary.”
In early April, Pelosi's fellow-California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom made similar remarks about the pandemic.
Newsom said the deadly coronavirus outbreak is an “opportunity” to push progressive policies in his state and across the United States.
Newsom said during a virtual press conference:
“Absolutely, we see this as an opportunity reshape the way we do business and how we govern."
The Governor's remarks came following a question about whether he saw “the potential” in the crisis for “a new progressive era” in California.
“That shouldn’t put shivers up the spines of one party or the other,” he said.
“I think it’s an opportunity anew for both parties to come together and meet this moment and really start to think more systemically, not situationally, not just about getting out of this moment.”