Working Americans are losing their jobs in droves as the country struggles to survive the coronavirus pandemic. That includes most wait staff in restaurants who already struggle to provide for themselves and their kids. It includes employees in nearly all businesses, who are losing shifts and hours if not entire paychecks.

People who continue to work for full pay are fortunate. Most segments of the economy are suffering or soon will. Some economists anticipate up to a 30% reduction in the GDP before this crisis stabilizes and subsides. We are in economic freefall.

Congress and the president need to stop the bleeding, immediately. They have neither days nor hours to spare before conditions get worse.

Despite our need for critical care, Democrats continued blocking emergency legislation in Congress as of late Monday by insisting any bailout of the economy fundamentally change the United States. They want any relief legislation to contain mandates imposing far-left pipe dreams.

“I cannot believe that the answer to this crisis — as we move to address the economic consequences that are so severe for the people of this country — that the answer from our friends on the other side of the aisle is delay, delay, delay. No sense of urgency. No hurry,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, widely considered among the two or three more moderate Republicans in Congress.

“Here we are facing an enemy that is invisible but … devastating to the health of our people and to the health of our economy,” Collins continued. “And yet unbelievably the Democratic leader objected to my even being able to speak this morning. Is this what we’ve come to? The Democratic leader objected to our convening at 9 a.m. this morning so that we could begin working in earnest.”

Instead of racing to save businesses and distressed households, Democratic leaders want a bill that forever expands the collective bargaining rights of federal employees. They want a bill that forces airlines to go “carbon neutral” by 2025.

Democrats will agree to a bill, but only if it protects jobs for foreign nationals working in the United States. They’ll vote for a bill, but only if it forces businesses to hire officers to enforce “diversity and inclusion” in the workplace. The bill also must require any business that takes relief funds to produce routine reports for the government proving they are hiring more women and minorities.

As the country bleeds, Democratic leaders offer life-saving triage conditioned on the patient surrendering to any and all demands. We’ll save your life, but only if you commit to driving an electric car, joining your company’s union, and taking a diversity class.

Don’t let the far left’s congressional activists get away with this. Don’t let them use the economic suffocation of the American people as part of a quid-pro-quo scheme to force through Congress a socialist agenda the country has rejected for generations.

The coronavirus is a non-partisan contagion threatening the economic welfare, and therefore the lives, of tens of millions of Americans of all socioeconomic, cultural, geographic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Diseases can kill, but so can poverty. Neither has anything to do with affirmative-action hiring, identity politics or the Green New Deal.

Saving our economy should not be a crude partisan game. Immediately Tuesday, Democratic leadership must rein in this dangerous effort to torment the American people into submission. Pass a generous, sensible bailout bill that stabilizes businesses and households before it’s too late.


(c)2020 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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