Why Is All This Stuff in the Coronavirus Relief Bill?

Right now, the Senate is debating a massive stimulus bill set to spend two and half trillion dollars, ostensibly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, that seems like a lot of money, but we all want to be safe, right? I’m sure all that spending is going towards testing kits, masks, and medical care for people who need it. Nah, I’m just kidding. This is the federal government we’re talking about, and you know what that means.

This bill is chock full of crony kickbacks, lobbyist handouts, and a wish list of progressive policies that have nothing to do with the crisis at hand.

The initial version of the bill asked for $1.8 trillion, but was voted down because special interests didn’t want to miss an opportunity to load it up with pork. They know it’s a must pass bill—the American people demand that Congress do something. So it’s the perfect chance to get funding for everyone’s pet program. As Rahm Emmanuel once said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

Here are a few of the things that this new bill does:

Number one, election reform. It’s unclear how changing election laws has anything to do with the coronavirus, but the new bill limits electoral oversight and auditing, allows for same-day voter registration, and mandates early voting. To me, this seems like a calculated attack on the integrity of our elections that will make voter fraud much easier. But even if you like these policies, they should be voted on separately and not part of a pandemic relief package.

Number two, concessions to social justice warriors. The bill contains language related to equal pay for women and mandates that companies hire “diversity and inclusion officers” to make sure that the workforce remains politically correct. Every honest social scientist that has looked at the data concluded that differences in pay between men and women are the result of different choices they make, not structural sexism. In any case, it’s already illegal to discriminate based on sex. Yet this is the progressive canard that refuses to die.

Number three, Green New Deal malarkey: Remember when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ban air travel completely? Despite the insanity of that idea, if this keeps up she may get her wish. The airline industry has been one of the hardest hit due to the restrictions on travel during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the bill that’s supposed to help workers actually demands that airlines purchase offsets for their carbon emissions, as well as develop expensive programs to educate passengers on their environmental impact.

There’s also provisions for strengthening government unions, a multi-billion dollar bail out of the Post Office, and kickbacks to virtually every federal agency in existence, even ones that have nothing to do with health, safety, or economic development. In short, politicians are trying to smuggle through a massive, big-government agenda under the guising of helping people in need. Yes, Washington really is that cynical.

Look, I’m all for helping out the needy during these difficult times, but we can’t let Congress extort us by demanding that we either do everything they ask, or get nothing at all. That’s not the way representative government is supposed to work. Unfortunately, the bill will probably pass, with most Members of Congress either out of town or under quarantine, unable to vote. But let this be a lesson: whenever you ask government to “just do something” to solve a problem, you can bet they’re going to take care of themselves before they ever get around to taking care of you.

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Logan Albright

Logan Albright is the Head Writer and Sound Engineer at Free the People. He is the author of Our Servants, Our Masters: How Control Masquerades as Assistance. Logan occasionally takes time out from his busy schedule of railing against the evils of government to play the part of musician, amateur novelist, and moustache enthusiast.

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