Because ‘People Are Suffering,’ Ro Khanna Says Democrats Have ‘Moral Obligation’ to Pursue Deal With White House on Covid Relief

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    • #368235
      Ohio Barbarian
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      (Common Dreams) Still alone among progressive members of Congress in publicly urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to run with the Trump White House’s $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief offer, Rep. Ro Khanna said Monday that Democratic lawmakers have a “moral obligation” to pursue a deal to provide additional aid to individuals and families facing a deadly pandemic, mass layoffs, a growing hunger crisis, and a looming wave of evictions.

      While Khanna is thus far the only progressive member of Congress to speak out in support of accepting most of what’s in the $1.8 trillion White House proposal—which includes one-time stimulus payments that for many families would be bigger than the previous round, a $400-per-week federal boost in unemployment insurance, and $300 billion to state and local governments—the California Democrat told Roll Call Monday that a number of his fellow Democrats have expressed a similar position in private.

      “Members are hearing in their districts that people are suffering. We have a moral obligation to do something. We are the party that stands for the working poor.”
      —Rep. Ro Khanna

      “Quite a few members feel this way,” Khanna said, telling Roll Call that at least 10 of his progressive colleagues share his position on the $1.8 trillion stimulus proposal, which the White House put forth on Friday in the latest bid to jumpstart negotiations that have been stalled for months and were briefly called off by President Donald Trump last week.

      “Now I don’t know how many of them will be vocal, but members are hearing in their districts that people are suffering,” said Khanna, the first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “We have a moral obligation to do something. We are the party that stands for the working poor.”

      Acknowledging the important disagreements between the White House and Democratic leaders on key issues at hand in the relief negotiations—such as funding for coronavirus testing—Khanna said he believes they can be resolved. Democratic leaders have demanded $75 billion for coronavirus testing but, thus far, the White House has only been willing to offer around $45 billion in new funds.

      “I think we can get the $30 billion and we should signal if the administration meets us at $75 billion… and they have a national testing plan, then we have a deal,” said Khanna.

      Pretty interesting that as far as I can tell Rep. @RoKhanna (D-Calif.) is the only progressive House Democrat to call on Pelosi to take a $1.8 trillion deal including $400/week in UI and $1,200 checks for millions of families. Nothing still from Squad, Jayapal, Pocan, etc.

      As HuffPost’s Zach Carter wrote Monday, the “economic rationale” for accepting the $1.8 trillion relief offer from the White House is “straightforward.”

      “According to the most recent weekly data, 840,000 people are losing their jobs every week,” Carter noted. “Prior to the pandemic, the previous all-time weekly high was 695,000. Job growth picked up in June as states began reopening their economies, but that growth has slowed every month. At the moment, growth is stalled out and the unemployment rate is 7.9%.”

      “The dispute over the stimulus in Democratic circles has not been about the economic situation, but the politics of addressing it,” Carter continued. “Passing a stimulus bill, critics argue, would hand Trump a much-needed legislative win heading into the November election.”

      But, as Common Dreams reported Monday, some progressives and Democratic commentators have countered that reaching a relief compromise with the White House and putting the onus on Senate Republicans could come with a substantial political upside for Democrats.

      If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Republican colleagues reject the deal—as they’ve indicated they would—the GOP would be responsible for the potentially devastating fallout that could result from denying crucial economic aid to people and cash-strapped state and local governments. If Republicans agree to pass the $1.8 trillion compromise bill without any sneaky poison pills, countless out-of-work Americans, hungry families, and frontline workers would receive help they desperately need to make ends meet.

      As Carter put it, “Heads, working people win; tails, Republicans lose. Pelosi should take the deal.”

      Matt Bruenig, founder of the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank, tweeted Monday that “Ro is right about this.”

      “If there is a White House approved proposal for $1.8T, then the House should pass it. Worst case scenario is it dies in the Senate, but possible it could pass with Trump’s support. No downside, possible upside.”

      In an interview on MSNBC Tuesday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) sounded a note of optimism when discussing the prospects of another coronavirus relief deal before next month’s election, pointing to Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s four previous bipartisan agreements.

      “We ought to be able to make a fifth if the president would stay on target and have a single message,” said Hoyer.

      But Pelosi—whose chamber has passed two ambitious relief bills that Senate Republicans have refused to even consider—has shown no indication of backing away from her opposition to the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion offer, which she denounced as riddled with “deficiencies” in a Dear Colleague letter on Tuesday.

      “A fly on the wall or wherever else it might land in the Oval Office tells me that the president only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the market to go up,” Pelosi said. “I remain hopeful that the White House will finally join us to recognize the needs of the American people, and take action to address the health and economic crisis in their lives.”

      On a House Democratic caucus call Tuesday, there was “no pushback” against Pelosi’s strategy of rejecting the White House’s $1.8 trillion offer, according to the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein. (Emphasis added)

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    • #368236
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 18,648

      That absolutely disgusts me. If anyone wonders why I’m not voting for any Democrats next month, this is why.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #368238
      ThouArtThat
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      @ohiobarbarian

      Hi ob,

      The obvious non sequitur is “when did democrats do anything because it is moral?” There is always a “political calculation” regardless of which political party is involved.

      Me thinks Ro Khanna is attempting to shame a shameless institution. He should know better.

      That said, economic suffering is real. However, economic suffering is an intrinsic part of Neo-Liberal economics. Can’t have “haves” without “have nots”. I have stopped waiting for the “system” to fix the inherent flaws of a failed system. Has not happened to date and won’t happen until we change the system. Don’t see much “political will” to take on that challenge.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #368251
      N2Doc
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      My guess is fancy Nancy doesn’t like Trump’s offer because it doesn’t include tax cuts for her. The SALT deduction, specifically. She wants her 50k deduction and she will hold the country hostage to get it.

    • #368252
      doh1304
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      • Total Posts: 1,462

      the SF taxi companies were in big trouble. They wanted a fleet increase (long story, essentially lots more profits) Their “owners” (shareholders) were revolting. They offered the city regulators a deal – more cabs for a 20% fare increase and a promise to not raise their gate fees for a year. We were starving, but we had them by the short and curlies. We folded. We took the deal. The next day the companies raised their gate fees, 200 (?) new cabs hit the streets to steal our fares, and the news media reported “taxis raise their prices 20%” Today there is no taxi industry in SF.

      We know what the Republicans want, but what does Pelosi want? She makes irrevelant, nonsensical promises and when they don’t happen she gives excuses. We’re starving for a Republican we dream. That’s why we blame Pelosi.

    • #368253
      closeupready
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      • Total Posts: 1,896

      But he’s putting his constituents first, and I’d support him for a more national run simply on the basis of that fact.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #368264
      Spirochete
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      • Total Posts: 581

      Hopefully that’ll be the last time we ever have to hear your fucking name…

    • #368288
      Babel 17
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      • Total Posts: 4,157

      But then she’d be accused of being a puppet of jpr, lol.

      It could be a no strings attached offer, though Pelosi could promise to later make the 1% pay for it. Though she doesn’t use that language, as she and her buddies are in the 1%, so she could imply that the House would later make Trump’s donors pay higher taxes.

    • #368331
      xyzse
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,722

      Ro Khana is right, the stimulus bill that Trump has proposed is stripped down and does not have as much junk as the ones the Republicans and the Democrats have proposed.  It also does a few things that I absolutely dislike.  Here’s an article that has a bunch of detail on the actual proposed stimulus: https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/white-houses-1-8-trillion-stimulus-package-offer-everything-in-it-including-a-1200-check/

      So what’s happening any way?

      I must say Trump through his Executive Action added $300 to unemployment benefits, which should have been done in Congress, if not for the games that both Pelosi and Mitch have been doing.  Honestly, these assholes should have been putting this forth on the main floor so that people can actually tell what they are going against.

      The lack of strategic planning on how to deal with the virus is besides the damn point.  They haven’t had a plan in over a year already (This virus has been known since 2019 but the whole US Government is just so inept)

      Because Trump is calling for a smaller bill that is targeting mostly the things they can agree on, then I can’t actually see why not other than playing politics.

      Pelosi said waaaay back in April/May when asked about State Funding that people shouldn’t worry since it’s going to be in the next bill.  It’s effing October.

    • #368375
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 18,648

      The Turtle is a disgrace to the entire reptilian phylum.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

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