Most of us woke up this morning with a grim reminder: the coronavirus is still very much alive. President Trump's tweet that he and First Lady Melania have tested positive for COVID was another shock to the American system, as everyone bears down for the last months of a year that no one will be sorry to see go. The president, in his tweet to the nation, was optimistic, promising that we would all get through this "together." In what many are calling a hopeful sign, the news may be prompting a rare moment of civility, as even some of Trump's biggest detractors stopped to offer their support. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow posted, "God bless the president and first lady. If you pray, please pray for their speedy and complete recovery -- and for everyone infected everywhere. This virus is horrific and merciless. No one would wish its wrath on anyone."
Earlier today, FRC joined hands with partners around the nation, united in prayers of healing for our president, first lady, and all of those affected. "For all of the pain, gloom, and trouble of 2020," Jim Geraghty wrote, "perhaps this ominous news will bring us together." Let's hope so. If there's one thing Washington, D.C. could use, it's unity.
On the Hill, navigating the choppy waters of the virus relief bill has been -- until now -- a second-page story, taking a backseat to the Supreme Court vacancy, debates, and other election news. Now that the president's test is putting the pandemic back in the headlines, there's even more pressure for Congress to get something done that both sides can support. That's been next to impossible these last several days, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spend hours in back-and-forth talk on a deal that liberal Democrats don't seem interested in cutting.
Thursday, despite opposition from members of their own party, Pelosi put a $2.2 trillion package on the table with only one real goal: cramming as much extremism and unrelated agenda items in the bill as possible. The sham legislation, which was nothing but a messaging tool to her liberal base, was roundly panned by Democrats who couldn't believe that Pelosi won't negotiate in good faith on such an important issue. Representatives like Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) fumed to the press, insisting, "This is going nowhere, we know it's going nowhere. This is just a vote to make people feel good. I want to help people," she told Politico, "and that means sitting at the table and getting the [expletive] bill done."
Congressman Ben McAdams (D-Utah), another of the 18 Democrats to vote no, demanded that Pelosi grow up and work with the GOP. "Republicans have put forward a serious offer and I think leadership should stay at the table and get this across the finish line," he said. Others, like Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), could only shake his head that all that seems to matter to his party leaders is sticking it to Donald Trump. "It's no secret that there are some people in my party that are secretly and surreptitiously saying, ‘Oh, let's not do any deal whatsoever because we don't want the president to get credit for anything," he added. "That is as wrong as it gets. People are suffering right now ...And we have to be there for them as members of Congress and as patriots, not as partisans."
As for what's so objectionable in the bill, the real question is: what isn't? There's a $600 million cut to police funding from the May version, another redefinition of "sex" and gender, cash for illegal immigrants, increased access to marijuana, taxpayer-funded abortion, more anti-freedom hate crimes provisions, a financial attack on homeschooling families and religious schools, and an end-run on state voter ID laws and other election safeguards. And Democrats accuse Trump of not caring about coronavirus?
Based on this legislation, it's House leaders, not Republicans, who are insincere. Anyone who would take a deadly situation and use it to push a grab bag of liberal non-starters cares about campaigning -- not compromise. We're grateful for the White House's adamance that any agreement with Pelosi must be pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom.
In the meantime, we continue to pray for the protection and health of the Trump family and White House staff. You can join us, every Thursday at noon (ET) in our special prayer time with Michele Bachmann. For details, got to PrayVoteStand.org/pray.