As someone once said, you don’t know what’s in a bill until you pass it. In the case of Nancy Pelosi’s $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the bigger question is what’s not in it. It has provisions for supporting marijuana companies, “environmental justice grants,” LGBT suicide-prevention training, the elimination of cash bail, and so on. As Mitch McConnell quipped yesterday, it’s a “seasonal catalog of left-wing oddities” that intends to leverage a crisis to pay off Pelosi’s special-interest constituencies.
So what doesn’t it include? Oversight. As soon as the bill passes and presumably makes three trillion dollars magically appear for the executive branch to disperse, language within the bill would send the House out on vacation for two full months:
They will vote on a $3 trillion economic aid package as well as a resolution allowing virtual committee business and proxy voting for the next 45 days unless renewed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.
The measure includes a provision “that allows the House to remain in recess until July 21,” a Republican leadership aide said.
The language is included in a resolution dictating the rules of debate. It allows Democrats “to declare the House adjourned to meet at a date and time to be announced by the Chair in declaring the adjournment,” from May 19 until July 21.
A top Democratic aide said the provision was needed to block lawmakers (likely Republicans, who oppose the recess) from calling up votes during the pro-forma sessions held every three days.