If Democrats achieve nothing else between now and the 2022 midterms what they have already done to fight the Covid-19 virus, rebuild the economy, and strengthen the Affordable Care Act EARNS them reelection to control both the House and Senate.
First published in October 2021.
Political pundits, political strategists, and mainstream media all predict that Democrats’ failure to pass the proposed BIF bill and the human infrastructure reconciliation bill, will mean death to Democrats in the 2022 midterms. God forbid such a failure should occur, but if it does, why would America trade a Democratic something for a Republican nothing?
The past few weeks have been full of Democrats discussing and disagreeing among themselves over when and how to pass vital legislation. In the Democratic-controlled House, progressive Democrats are refusing to join with moderate Democrats and pass the Senate’s bipartisan traditional infrastructure bill (BIF). Until 2 conservative-leaning Democratic Senators in the Democratic-controlled Senate agree to join their fellow Senate Democrats and pass a Senate human infrastructure reconciliation bill.
Progressive House Democrats won’t join with moderate House Democrats to pass the Senate-approved BIF bill because they feel they face 2 realities. One since Democrats have only a 4 seat majority and traditionally the political party in control losses seats in midterm elections, progressive Democrats fear this might be their last chance to implement their policies before they lose control. And two progressive House Democrats don’t trust the 2 Democratic conservative-leaning Senators to pass the House’s human infrastructure reconciliation bill if their BIF bill has already been voted into law.
The 2 conservative-leaning Senators claim they are only temporarily withholding support for the reconciliation bill. Until progressives reduce the initial budget cost to one they can justify to their constituents. But based on past statements and actions by the 2 Senators, progressives are correct in questioning whether the 2 Senators truly support human infrastructure at any cost.
All of the Democratic Party back and forth over whether and when to pass the BIF bill and the reconciliation bill into law, has the mainstream media questioning the leadership ability of President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of the Democratic Party and political strategist predicting doom and gloom for Democrats in the 2022 midterms if BIF and human infrastructure don’t become law. Apparently, the Democrats’ back and forth has also affected the memory ability of both the mainstream media and political strategists. Because they all predict Democrats will lose control of the House due to the INACCURATE claim that if BIF and reconciliation don’t become law, Democrats will have “no accomplishments to run on.” Their memory lapse has caused them all to confuse a Democratic something with a Republican nothing.
Since Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2020 elections, giving them control of both the Senate and House and Joe Biden was sworn in as President, America has experienced a stream of Democrats replacing a Republican nothing with the following Democratic something’s:
Fighting the Covid-19 Coronavirus
Back in March of 2020 when over 100,000 virus-infected Americans were dropping like dead flies due to the lack of ventilators in America, then President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate told America’s governors “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment try getting it yourselves, we will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself”. This Republican nothing leadership led the medical supply industry into chaos at the worst possible time, pitting states against each other and driving up prices in the “get it yourself” state competition for masks, gowns, and ventilators.
Former Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo spoke for all of America’s governors when he said “I can’t find any more equipment. It’s not a question of money, we need the federal help and we need the federal help now.” The help that Cuomo and America’s governors were asking for was the same help the American Medical Association was asking Trump for, the same help that the Republican-controlled Senate was silent about and put no pressure on Trump to do, which was to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA). Had the Republican-controlled Senate stepped up and pressured Trump to invoke the DPA the medical supply crisis would have disappeared saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Instead, America got a Republican nothing and unneeded death and destruction of life.
Within 2 weeks of Biden being sworn in as President and Democrats taking full control of both the House and Senate, Biden invoked the DPA to ease the medical supply crunch and speed the production of virus vaccines to meet his goal of 100 million vaccine shots in 100 days. Invoking the DPA worked so well Biden was able to deliver the 100 million vaccine shots to a dying America ahead of schedule in 58 days, saving thousands of American lives. Fortunately, to his credit, Trump did initiate Operation Warp Speed (OWS), a partnership between the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Defense (DOD), and several pharmaceutical companies which accomplished the historic never been done before invention and production of a virus vaccine in less than a year.
Unfortunately, when it came to a distribution plan of getting the vaccine in people’s arms and a way for people no longer employed due to the economic shutdown to pay for the vaccine, Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate produced a Republican nothing. Biden within weeks of taking office issued executive orders to supply over 1,000 military troops to man vaccine sites across the country and declared that the federal government would pay for all Americans to get the vaccine shots free of charge.
Rebuilding the Economy
When evidence of the Covid virus first surfaced Trump and Republicans’ initial reaction was a Republican nothing. Trump said the virus was not infecting many people and would go away soon because it was only a problem in China. The complete opposite occurred and the virus shut down the entire American economy. In response, Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate joined with the Democratic-controlled House to produce a $2 trillion stimulus that gave individuals earning less than $75,000 a direct payment of $1,200, an additional $500.00 per child, an additional $600.00 per week in unemployment benefits for the unemployed for 6 months, $377 billion in federally guaranteed loans to small businesses and established a $500 billion government lending program for distressed companies.
This definitely gave the American economy the help it needed but turned out not to be enough for America’s small businesses. Because the money intended for small businesses was exhausted by big businesses leaving none for small businesses. Since the $2 trillion was already a stretch for Republicans and since their main constituents (big business corporate America), was well taken care of in the $2 trillion stimulus. When the small business community said What about us? the response from Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate was a Republican nothing.
Therefore the first piece of major legislation passed and signed into law under full Democratic control of the House, Senate, and White House was the $1.9 trillion stimulus to provide another round of stimulus checks, aid for the unemployed, support earmarked SPECIFICALLY for small businesses. Because state and local governments received a Republican nothing in the Trump Republican-controlled Senate $2 trillion stimulus, the Biden Democratic-controlled House and Senate $1.9 stimulus also provided $350 billion to states and local governments (to offset the lost tax revenue due to virus shutdown and thus saving thousands of government jobs), to territories and tribes, and extended a 15% boost to food stamp benefits.
The most infamous Republican nothing occurred when Republicans were in full control of the House, Senate, and the White House when they made several attempts to replace Obamacare with LITERALLY a Republican nothing. Had Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and a thumbs down John McCain not voted against the repeal of Obamacare, millions of American citizens were going to lose access to healthcare, the ultimate lethal Republican nothing. Recognizing that the last thing an America caught in the middle of a healthcare pandemic needed was a healthcare Republican nothing, as part of the $1.9 Democratic something stimulus President Biden reopened the federal Affordable Care Act healthcare insurance exchange in February, giving uninsured Americans until mid-August to sign up for 2021.
Biden also increased the government subsidies so that enrollees will now pay no more than 8.5% of their incomes toward coverage, down from 10%. And lower-income policyholders and the jobless will receive subsidies that eliminate their premiums completely. Biden also rescinded Trump approvals that allowed states to mandate work requirements to qualify for Medicaid. Because of Biden and a Democratic-controlled House and Senate, an additional 500,000 more people were able to qualify for healthcare insurance.
If Democrats achieve nothing else between now and the 2022 midterms what they have already done to fight the Covid-19 virus, rebuild the economy, and strengthen the Affordable Care Act EARNS them reelection to control both the House and Senate. When Republicans were in full control of the House, Senate, and White House in 2018 and 2019 their only accomplishments were tax cuts for the rich, right-wing judges for conservatives, and attempting to replace healthcare for all with Republican nothing healthcare.
Tax-cuts and right-wing judges don’t improve or benefit the lives of most Americans, in fact when the amount of debt the tax cuts have added, the fact that right-wing judges have made it harder for black and brown people to register to vote, to cast a vote, to have their vote counted, and for women to control what happens to their bodies is taken into consideration, Republican control has made life harder for most Americans. Negativity, internal conflicts, and the prospect of failure drive ratings and readership which means bottom line profits for mainstream media. The prospect of election failure justifies huge amounts of political ad spending and huge campaign budgets which means bottom line profits for many political strategists. This may explain why they both are quick to forget the positive and remember the negative.
American citizens must ignore the negative hype and remember the truthful positive facts, along with a paraphrased proverb of wisdom passed down through many generations: A Democratic something in America’s hand is better than 2 Republican nothings in the bushes of tax cuts, Republican nothing healthcare, and conservative politicians posing as non-partisan Supreme Court Judges, who pretend to dispense justice based on the rule of law but in reality dispense justice based on the rule of conservative ideology.
— AUTHOR —
▫ Isaac Newton Farris Jr, Nephew of Martin Luther King Jr, he serves as Senior Fellow at King Center.
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[This piece was originally published in Isaac Newton Farris Jr.’s blog and re-published in PMP Magazine on 14 October 2021, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]
(Cover: Flickr/The White House. - President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, delivers remarks on the passing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. | 10 August 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)