Republican lawmakers had a thing or two to say about Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking out of both sides of her mouth about the COVID-19 relief bill. While Pelosi and other Democrats have staunchly blamed Republicans for not getting more serious about coronavirus and issues surrounding it, the House Speaker made it a point to carve out time for a bill that will federally legalize marijuana, but not to attend to the COVID-19 relief bill.
The concern marijuana issue is slated to hit the House floor on Wednesday, and will no doubt bring with it substantial debates, turmoil, and time away from other issues many would deem more important.
According to Fox News, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said that the Lower House of Congress will consider multiple bills, including the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, and voting will likely happen Wednesday through Friday.
Another bill before the lawmakers would look to ban breeding and private ownership of big cats, which was an issue that came to national attention when the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King” became a hot topic earlier in the year. Neither of those issues, however, are believed to be of the level of importance that monetary support for individuals and business who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans, who are traditionally harshly critical of marijuana legalization, took to Twitter to castigate Pelosi for prioritizing “cannabis and cats” over finding a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill.
“This week, your House Democrat majority is tackling the tough issues by holding a vote on legalizing pot and banning tiger ownership,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote Monday on Twitter. “Nothing for small businesses. Nothing for re-opening schools. Nothing on battling the pandemic. Just cannabis and cats.”
According to Fox News, “A coronavirus stimulus package has been held up for months largely because Democrats are seeking a roughly $2.2 trillion package, while Republicans do not want to spend more than $500 billion on aid, which is an impasse that has resulted in the rejection of several relief packages from both sides of the aisle.”
There have been some changes in the status of the bill, however. According to Pelosi, she spoke to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin about the vaguely referenced “bipartisan progress” that has reportedly been made in an effort to find a solution that will bring the two parties to a conclusion on what can be done to get the bill passed.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have also reportedly talked to who they believe will be the next president, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, and have said assured the DNC’s current figurehead that they are making the COVID-19 relief package a priority during their lame-duck session.
“Secretary Mnuchin said he would be reviewing the proposal Leader Schumer and I made to Leader McConnell and Leader McCarthy last night and the bipartisan Senate proposal unveiled today,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday night. “Additional COVID relief is long overdue and must be passed in this lame duck session.”
However, liberal Democrats will not concede that the MORE Act isn’t an extremely important issue that they must attend to, post haste. Those closer to the middle convinced their party to put off the issue, which was slated to be addressed in September for fear that it would further alienate moderate voters ahead of the election.
“The MORE Act remains a critical component of House Democrats’ plan for addressing systemic racism and advancing criminal justice reform, and we are committed to bringing it to the Floor for a vote before the end of the year,” Hoyer said in a statement, according to Fox News. “Right now, the House is focused relentlessly on securing agreement to stave off a damaging government shutdown and continuing to do its job addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
So, have no fear, your business may shut down and you might lose your opportunity for economic growth in the future, but, silver lining, at least you’ll be relaxed while you see your livelihood flushed away.