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After calling for unity and bipartisan work, Democrats and President Joe Biden seem to have forgotten such words and are set to move forward without any brakes on consolidating their goals. The result of the Democratic Party’s power-grab is beginning to pay off in favor of the agenda that will cost the American people additional trillions of dollars.
With majorities secured in both houses and no obstacles that could torpedo its goals, the governing party -which also heads the Oval Office with Joe Biden- intends to pass without much debate the $1.9 trillion stimulus package to alleviate the fatal consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The very health of our nation is at stake,” were the words of the then President-elect when he presented his stimulus plan to the country. Biden further assured that the plan would not be cheap, but not doing so would cost the country more. However, nowhere in the Democrats’ proposal can it be seen that opening up the country is one of the policies to be implemented.
Meanwhile, on the more extreme side of the Democrats, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders stands out, confessing his optimism to ABC’s This Week Sunday panel saying he was “absolutely confident” that Senate Democrats could pass the president’s coronavirus relief package without any votes from the Republican caucus.
“I have differences and concerns about this bill,” the senator explained. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to support the president of the United States, and we’re going to step up, and we’re going to do what the American people overwhelmingly want us to do.” On bipartisanship, however, he was much less interested.
Quickly dismissing that possibility, he commented that “the issue is not bipartisanship or not. The issue is whether we are going to address the incredible set of crises and pain and anxiety that is in this country.” In contrast to Sanders’ determination, and in bizarre centrism, the Democratic chairman asserted that “the risk is not doing too much, but not doing enough.”
From the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is paving the way for a smooth passage of this stimulus package without delay. In the face of this aggressive and clear advance, there are still Republicans who remain optimistic with the Democratic Party. Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins believes that “The President is sincere in his commitment to bipartisanship. That’s the way he always acted when he was a senator.” According to the very optimistic senator, who has been in communication with President Biden, it is clear that he wants to continue to operate that way.
In less triumphant tones, Senator Lisa Murkowski believes “it would be wise for the new administration to work to try to get a bipartisan proposal.” “This is the best and smartest place for the president to start on his promises of unity,” argued Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
Evoking the calls for unity with which the Democratic leader began his presidency, Senator Murkowski reminds the president that “he talked about unity and working together.” However, the governing party’s intentions appear to be quite different.
Moderate Republicans’ hopes for a lighter, less overwhelming version of the stimulus package were dashed by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who stressed that “we are not going to do this piecemeal or pick apart a great package aimed at addressing the crisis we face.”
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017