House Dem criticizes her own party for shoving ‘wish list’ stimulus package: ‘It’s not a good look’
Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., criticized her own party’s coronavirus legislation this week as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pressured the Republican-controlled Senate to adopt what Porter described as a Democratic “wish list.”
“The HEROES Act is dead on arrival,” Porter said Tuesday, referring to the $3 trillion package the House passed last week as a follow-up to the CARES Act. Her comments during an online meeting hosted by the Tustin [Calif.] Democratic Club were first reported by the Washington Examiner.
“There was no bipartisan negotiation here and no effort at bipartisan negotiation, which I also think is problematic,” Porter went on to say. “It’s not to say that we could’ve gotten there. It’s not to say that the Republicans would’ve agreed with our priorities. But I do not think it is a good look in a time of national crisis to act in a strictly partisan way. I don’t like it when Donald Trump does it, and I don’t like it when Nancy Pelosi does it.”
Porter, who voted for the legislation but opposed an earlier motion to consider the bill, added the bill could be used against her ahead of the November election.
“The way that we did this virtually guaranteed the bill was going to, one, die immediately and, two, that I would be hit with endless attacks about having supported a Democratic wishlist with the most expensive government bill ever put out,” she said.
“It’s not a good look for someone like me in Orange County. It will make my reelection harder … and it’s not even the best policy approach that we could’ve brought to the table.”
Pelosi’s office on Thursday sent around public opinion polls that showed 67 percent of the American people support the HEROES Act. She claimed the public sentiment will eventually bring McConnell to the table, but right now “he has decided to obstruct.”
Passed by a vote of 208-199, the legislation doles out $1,200 per month to eligible individuals, up to $6,000 per household, extends a top-up of $600 to be added to state unemployment benefits through January 2021, and provides $175 billion for families to pay their mortgages and rent. It also includes student loan forgiveness, an employee retention tax credit and increases maximum SNAP benefits by 15 percent.
But tucked into the legislation are provisions that rankled the Republicans, including expanding $1,200 checks to certain undocumented immigrants, restoring the full State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) that helps individuals in high-taxed blue states, a $25 billion rescue for the U.S. Postal Service, allowing legal marijuana businesses to access banking services and early voting and vote-by-mail provisions.
“I did find myself, Porter said, “on the House floor thinking [of] my Republican colleagues who said, ‘This bill is a Democratic wish list written by a handful of Democrats, and shoved down the throats of the rest of the Congress.’
“I often don’t think that they have any point — I think they had a real point about this bill,” she added. “So, the bill is going nowhere.”
In all, 14 House Democrats voted against the HEROES Act, while Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., was the only Republican to vote in favor of it.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.