Opinion: Trump Sets a Trap for Pelosi and Schumer

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The first tranche (goofy word, probably of French origin, meaning. “portion”) of the congressionally authorized, Wuhan China Virus relief is about to expire. Now the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is in discussions with the Republican-controlled Senate to work on compromise legislation for the next tranche.

The Democrat House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi has passed its version of relief costing over 3 Trillion dollars.

Read: Democrats push new $3T coronavirus relief bill through House

The enormous Democratic measure would cost more than the prior four coronavirus bills combined. It would deliver almost $1 trillion for state and local governments, another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals and help for the unemployed, renters and homeowners, college debt holders and the struggling Postal Service.

Republicans saw the bill as a Democratic political blunder. They said overly generous unemployment benefits discouraged people from returning to work, and attacked language helping immigrants in the U.S. illegally get federal benefits. They also singled out provisions helping states set up voting by mail and easing the marijuana industry’s access to banks.
“It may help the cannabis industry, but it won’t help Main Street,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The Republicans Senate is working on its own version and showing some rare backbone by trying to keep this new appropriation limited. McConnell’s team is seeking to clean up previous mistakes by preventing unemployment benefits from exceeding what workers would make on the job. Gee whiz, who could have predicted that if you pay somebody more for sitting on his keister than he makes in his regular job, he will willingly stay home? For once, our team also appears to be looking ahead in other areas.

The confusing — and many times contradictory — advice regarding the spread and treatment of the Wuhan China Virus, has great potential to change the litigation landscape. Led by McConnell, the Republican side of the Senate is pushing inclusion of language to limit civil suits, by holding employers harmless from employee efforts to hold them responsible for Wuhan China Virus that may or may not have resulted from going back to work. This only makes sense. Without such legislation, the slip and fall attorneys, long members of the Democrat political machine, would run rampant, thus putting a huge drag on the economic recovery. Of course, Pelosi, Schumer, et al, are violently opposed to this particular proviso.

Read: Schumer urges Democrats to unify against GOP coronavirus bill

”This one-party approach to this legislation is the same approach that delayed the passage of the CARES Act and the subsequent interim emergency relief legislation, failed on policing reform, and it won’t work this time around either,” Schumer wrote, referencing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package Congress passed in March after an initial partisan standoff.

Schumer is balking at a five-year proposed litigation shield that McConnell wants to include in the next relief package that would limit the liability of businesses, schools and churches related to coronavirus infections.

Those are the battle lines. Republicans want to keep the new effort lean and mean. Democrats want to lard it up with all their favorite issues, most of which have absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand. Enter President Trump

Read: Trump says he’s examining executive orders on evictions, payroll taxes if he can’t reach deal with Democrats

From the article

“A lot of people are going to be evicted, but I’m going to stop it because I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Trump told reporters at an event at the White House. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders, and we’re looking at that very seriously right now.”

Before I go further, I need to state that I am generally not in favor of using Executive Orders to subvert the clear legislative will of Congress. In this article, I am merely opining on the political effect in this case.

Here is the trap. President Trump has told Congress (read Democrats) if they don’t compromise, he will take action. This action is likely to be some sort of Executive Order prohibiting the evictions and/or moving some already appropriated funds to continue the unemployment benefit, possibly at a lower rate. Note: Speaker Pelosi has already declined an offer by Leader McConnell for a temporary extension of this benefit.

So, here’s how it is likely to play out. President Trump issues an executive order continuing the current prohibition on evictions. Meanwhile, he also directs the movement of funds to continue the support for unemployment benefits. At that point, much of the pressure is off of the administration and the Republican-led Senate. The Democrats cannot let that stand, but they have few options…and none of them good. Here’s a simple look.

Option 1: Do Nothing. That is always an option. In this case, it might be the best option. President Trump gets his way and the Democrats lose some leverage and the negotiations continue.

Option 2: Democrats sue the administration, attempting to get a court to “stay” the Executive Order. This has one of two likely results:

A) They win the suit and the President’s order is stayed. However, that gives the President and his team a brutal talking point about Democrats taking food out of the mouths of their constituents…and most of the recipients are in Democrat enclaves…Republican areas are already going back to work.

B) Democrats lose the suit and the President’s order continues until the negotiation is finished. Another win for the President.

Let’s wrap this up. No matter what happens, the President comes out a winner. If the Democrats do nothing, President Trump is seen as taking care of folks while negotiating in good faith. If the Democrats lose a suit, that same result obtains. If they win the suit, then President Trump isn’t the one seen going to court to take money out of peoples’ pockets.

Advantage: Trump. GOLF CLAP