Democrats, use your power: Act boldly, and forget bipartisanship–for now


1) Erica Werner, Jeff Stein, and Seung Min Kim, “Ten Senate Republicans propose compromise covid relief package, posing challenge for Biden; Move by GOP senators led by Susan Collins comes as Democrats prepare to go forward quickly with Biden package without Republican support,” Washington Post, January 31, 2021 (1:22 p.m. EST).

2) “The Democrats should run the Senate,” The Trenchant Observer, January 23, 2021.

3) “Unity with fascists? NEVER!,” The Trenchant Observer, January 26, 2021.

4) “The Democratic base must push back on impeachment trial against weak-kneed Democratic Senators,” January 27, 2021.

Ten Republican Senators, led by Susan Collins (R-Maine) have published a letter proposing a $600 billion “compromise” instead of the $1.9 trillion relief bill proposed by Pesident Biden and the Democrats.

Ten Republican senators announced plans Sunday to release an approximately $600 billion coronavirus relief package as a counterproposal to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan, posing a test for the new president who campaigned as a bipartisan dealmaker.

In addition to Collins, Portman, and Cassidy, these are Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Todd C. Young (Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.). Also signing were Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.).
–Erica Werner, Jeff Stein and Seung Min Kim, Washington Post, above.

The Democrats have already lost too much time pursuing a bipartsisan relief bill, and should not waste another minute considering the Republican counter-proposal.

The Republicans, generally, have not been proceeding in good faith. Mitch McConnell let a $3.2 trillion relief bill, approved by the House, sit on his desk for six months without ever allowing it to be considered.

The ten Republican Senators putting this counter-proposal foraward may be acting in good faith, and they may have played a constructive role in gaining Senate approval for a $900 billion relief bill in December, 2020, undet Trump.

But elections have consequences, and there is now a new power configuration in the Senate.

The Republican delays have placed the country in great distress, while the Democratic proposal has been tailored to meet urgent needs.

This is no time to pursue the perfect bill, with perfect bipartisan support.

Rather it is a moment which calls for urgent action, to fund immediately measures to control the coronavirus pandemic, including financial support for vaccinations, and economic support for individuals and businesses hit hy the pandemic.

Timing is everything.

The Democrats have the power to act. They should act now, decisively.

The time will come for bipartisanship on some bills in the future.

But first the Democrats need to take firm control of the Senate, and seek bipartisanship in the future when the Republican goals are to solve the country’s problems, and not simply to withhold support for obstructionist and partisan ends.

The Trenchant Observer