Dems exploit coronavirus crisis to push longstanding priorities

Legislation introduced by House and Senate Democrats has snuck in universal, employer-funded sick leave alongside temporary emergency measures, potentially shuttering employers and serving as a poison pill to slow congressional negotiations. Democratic electoral groups, meanwhile, have already included the coronavirus in their attack-ad messaging, while left-leaning policy organizations have called for substantial reductions in incarceration and enforcement, in alignment with their preexisting policy goals.

Such efforts to push through longstanding legislative priorities recall the attitude of former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the Great Recession, who is remembered for his now-infamous exhortation that “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.”