The House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion spending package allocates $500 billion to states and cities directly and an additional $225 billion to state and local public-school systems — five times the amount of revenue lost due to COVID-19. By refusing to negotiate a more reasonable level of state and local assistance, and advancing a proposal to lift the limit on the SALT deduction, House speaker Nancy Pelosi is putting her high-earning constituents ahead of working Americans.
For his part, President Trump inexplicably decided to walk away from the negotiations last Monday, only to reverse course in a tweet mere hours later. His ham-handed tack only sowed confusion. The White House ultimately proposed a $1.8 trillion bill that includes enhanced unemployment benefits, checks to households, and various forms of assistance to businesses. Some portions of the bill — such as its expansion of Obamacare subsidies and sizable state and local aid — are ill-considered, but the White House is in a negotiation, and one where it doesn’t have much leverage.
The House speaker called the White House proposal “insufficient,” claiming that the president “has not taken the war against the virus seriously.” In fact, the administration’s plan includes an ample $175 billion for testing, tracing, and vaccine programs.