Friday, October 23, 2020

Republicans Continue Blocking A Pandemic Relief Bill, Even In The Face Of Massive Election Losses



230,000 Deaths by Chip Proser

Despite Trump's protestations at the debate last night that the pandemic is going away, yesterday, according to NBC News, set a record as the number of new coronavirus cases rose to over 77,000, topping the previous record in July. "Nationwide, 77,640 new cases were reported for the day, up from the previous record of 75,723 on July 29. Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday afternoon that the agency has noted a 'distressing trend' in which coronavirus case numbers are "increasing in nearly 75 percent of the country." And although Trump repeatedly bleated that it was all "Democrat governors" fault for closing down the economy, most of the increase is in states that voted for Trump. Hospitalizations are also spiking dangerously and deaths always follow increased case loads and hospitalizations. Yesterday's biggest new case loads were in Texas (+6,197) and Florida (+5,557), although Trump lied at the debate and said the pandemic was ending in Florida. Yesterday the U.S. had the most new cases-- by far-- than any other country in the world, even with Europe in a full-blown second wave. On a per capita basis, the 17 states hit hardest by the pandemic are all states that voted for Trump in 2016.
North Dakota- 45,996 cases per million residents
South Dakota- 40,713 cases per million residents
Louisiana- 38,325 cases per million residents
Mississippi- 37,996 cases per million residents
Alabama- 36,112 cases per million residents
Florida-35,762 cases per million residents
Iowa- 35,440 cases per million residents
Tennessee- 34,837 cases per million residents
Arkansas- 34,064 cases per million residents
Georgia- 32,544 cases per million residents
South Carolina- 32,529 cases per million residents
Arizona- 32,273 cases per million residents
Wisconsin- 31,963 cases per million residents
Nebraska- 31,682 cases per million residents
Idaho- 31,672 cases per million residents
Utah- 31,051 cases per million residents
Texas- 30,909 cases per million residents
Although the residents of most of these states haven't connected the dots between Trump and their suffering yet, some have. Florida, Iowa, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, NE-02, and even Texas are trending away from giving Trump a second term. According to a new poll by Change Research, Trump and his enablers in the Senate are losing in the battleground states polled:
Arizona- Trump down by 6 points and Martha McSally down by 11 points
Florida- Trump down by 5 points
Michigan- Trump down by 7 points and the Trumpist challenger to Gary Peters losing by 5 points
North Carolina- Trump down by 3 points and Thom Tillis down by 6 points
Pennsylvania- Trump down by 2 points
Wisconsin- Trump down by 8 points
Change Research noted that "As COVID-19 cases spike across the country, voters continue to prefer Biden and Democrats to Trump and Republicans on COVID-19 by 6 points in the battleground and by 12 points nationally. 55% of battleground voters and 57% nationally disapprove of Trump's handling of the virus, with majorities strongly disapproving. We also showed voters a tweet from Trump and asked them if it is mostly helpful or harmful when it comes to handling COVID-19."
The large majority of voters in the battleground say that instead of filling the Supreme court vacancy, the top priority for the U.S. Senate right now should be providing more economic relief and funds for combatting COVID-19 (62% COVID relief, 38% SCOTUS). Only the white working class men-- the heart of Trump’s base-- are more likely to prioritize the vacancy (58% SCOTUS, 42% COVID relief).

Asked which comes closer to their point of view about the economy, battleground voters are twice as likely to say that “The economy is struggling and we need more financial relief from Washington” over “The economy is recovering and we do not need any more financial relief from Washington” (66% to 34%), up 3 points since we last surveyed.

Battleground voters are as likely to blame Trump and Republicans in Congress as they are to blame Nancy Pelosi and Democrat in Congress for failure to pass new COVID-19 relief, with 10% saying they are both equally to blame. This was also the reaction of voters when the expanded unemployment benefit expired.

When we look to those who are currently experience lost wages or a salary cut in their household, they are far more likely to say the economy is struggling and we need relief from Washington (77%), they are as likely to rank the economy, jobs, and cost of living as a top issue as are those who are experiencing lost jobs or wages currently, and they are more likely to say that Trump and Republican are more responsible for the failure to pass more relief (54% v. 34% Pelosi and Democrats, 11% both equally).

Voters continue to prefer Biden and Democrat to Trump and Republicans on COVID-19 by 6 points in the battleground and by 12 points nationally. But that understates the frustration with Trump’s handling of the virus. Fully 55% of battleground voters and 57% nationally disapprove of Trump’s handling of the virus, with majorities strongly disapproving. We also see Trump’s weakness on COVID-19 when we look at the 11 point intensity advantage that Democrats hold on COVID-19: 48% of battleground voters strongly prefer Biden compared to 37% who strongly prefer Trump.
Republicans in Congress seem willing to do anything it takes to prevent a pandemic relief and stimulus bill from passing. McConnell has sabotaged everything the Democrats have passed in the House and has warned the White House that he will not allow whatever Pelosi and Mnuchin comes up with the pass either. Reporting yesterday for the Washington Post, Jeff Stein wrote that Senate Republicans don't want Mnuchin to come up with a compromise despite Trump's orders to do so. "Mnuchin," wrote Stein, "has already committed to a top-line figure of around $1.9 trillion, much too high for many Senate Republicans to swallow. This includes at least $300 billion for state and local aid, also a non-starter for many in the GOP. The Treasury secretary is also giving ground on multiple specific policy issues, for example reducing payments that Republicans wanted to go to farmers so that some of the money would go for food boxes instead, according to two people involved in the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the developments. He has left open the possibility of allowing even more money to flow to states and localities via Community Development Block Grants sought by Democrats."
“He negotiates harder with his own side than he does with her. Folks over here are sick of it,” said one Senate GOP aide, who added that Republicans were “reaching boiling point with him” as Mnuchin “gives and gives and gives and gets nothing in return.”

Another Senate GOP aide said: “Fair to say the feeling is he’s giving away the store. No one is surprised, but yes frustrated. The idea that our conference is going to go along with whatever bad deal he cuts with Pelosi is completely unrealistic.”

...[Pelosi] said she and Mnuchin had just about come to terms on a national coronavirus testing strategy Democrats have been pushing. But Pelosi acknowledged that other major issues were still unsettled, including aid to state and local governments and liability protections for businesses sought by Republicans.

Pelosi has expressed the desire to pass a bill before the election, but made clear Thursday that she was not wedded to that timeline if she does not get what she wants.

“We wouldn’t take less of a bill to get it sooner," Pelosi said. "We want the best bill.”

Senate Republicans have already made their opposition to a big new spending bill abundantly clear-- and yet Mnuchin continues to negotiate and make concessions, giving rise to the new round of complaints. Mnuchin is caught between a president who’s demanded that he “bring home the bacon,” and Republican lawmakers who oppose more pork.

...Privately, multiple Senate GOP aides said getting 13 GOP votes for a big bill brokered by Pelosi and Mnuchin simply could not happen.

“There are not 13 votes for this pile of crap Mnuchin is capitulating on,” said a third Senate GOP aide familiar with the discussions.

McConnell has said that if Pelosi and Mnuchin get a deal and it passes the House with Trump’s support he would bring it up for a vote in the Senate-- but has not said when he would do so.

Senate Republicans have long been skeptical of Mnuchin’s approach in negotiations with Democrats, including in the spring when he helped negotiate four bills totaling an unprecedented $3 trillion that in retrospect some Republicans think went too far.

But Trump’s approach in the talks has been inconsistent, and it’s not at all clear that even if Pelosi and Mnuchin were to strike a deal, that Trump would or could bring Senate Republicans along. The president has said Republicans would fall in line, but he himself has veered between calling off talks and demanding more money than even Democrats proposed.

On Wednesday evening Trump seemed to write the whole effort off in a pair of Twitter posts where he lamented, “Just don’t see any way Nancy Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will be willing to do what is right.”

Conservatives off Capitol Hill are watching the process play out with something akin to horror.

...Even among conservatives, however, there is resignation that Mnuchin has been empowered by Trump and there is little to be done about the president’s bipartisan negotiator.

“There are concerns about the direction inside the White House but at the end of day Mnuchin takes direction from president,” said one GOP aide, granted anonymity to share internal thinking.
According to CNN, among the reactionary Republicans pushing hard for no help to working families are Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who is up for reelection and has been trying to keep her hatred for working class people on the down low, and John Cornyn (R-TX), who is in an identical situation.

A few days ago, Eric Boehlert explained very clearly what's keeping a bill from passing: "Republicans don't want to pass one."

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At 3:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polls didn't help Hillary.

Their importance is completely meaningless as long as people remain as ignorantly malleable as they have long proven to be.

I hang up on pollsters when they call. I have no obligation to give them my thoughts nor to be courteous, for they are working for someone seeking to take advantage of me.

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nazis have given up on pandering to the center. They think that if they make the lives of 200 million americans a little less daunting, they'll lose an operative number of their nazi voters who believe that oppression and death are all they should "provide" to the hated demos of the left.

pelo$i, otoh, still believes that pretending to try to make the lives of 200 million americans a little less daunting is enough to sway a few voters.

look at what the democraps actually passed in 2009 vs. what pelo$i is pretending to try to pass now. or, iow, look at the difference between what is real and what is the campaign ad.

that is what you're being asked to vote for.


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