Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and Fox News host Neil Cavuto conveniently ignored how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has obstructed a COVID relief package, while ramming through a Supreme Court confirmation, in order to blame Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Senate’s failure to pass a bill.
Kennedy went on Fox News Wednesday for a round of disrespectful finger pointing .
He said, “I do not believe that there will be another coronavirus bill before the election, maybe not even this Congress, for three reasons: Number one, Speaker Pelosi does not want a bill. Number two, Speaker Pelosi does not want a bill. Number three, Speaker Pelosi does not want a bill.”
Host Neil Cavuto interrupted. “So, what is she doing now? If she doesn’t want a bill, I mean, she has all these talks with [Treasury Secretary] Mnuchin? I mean what’s the real deal?”
“I understand that she says otherwise, and certain members of the press parrot everything she says. They suck it up like a Hoover Deluxe,” Kennedy replied. “But she doesn’t want a bill, and if you think otherwise, all you have to do is look at her interview with Wolf Blitzer on another network.” (Pelosi made it very clear in that contentious interview she wants a bill, but a better bill than what the Republicans are trying to force her to accept.)
But Kennedy baselessly accused Pelosi of opposing the Republican bill because “she thinks it will help President Trump. She does not like President Trump, she is angry at President Trump.”
“You can only be young once but you can always be immature,” Kennedy sneered. He added that Pelosi should “fill out a hurt feelings report, and let us pass another bill to try to help the American people.”
Cavuto did not note that the House passed a bill in May and an updated version on October 1 which the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is stonewalling. But Cavuto did challenge the overall point by saying that Mnuchin is a “smart man” and pointedly asking, “Is he being duped?”
“Yes, I think so,” Kennedy responded. He said Trump’s team of negotiators “are doing their very best to keep these talks alive” and “are exercising the patience of Job.” He piled on more contempt for Pelosi: “I wish she would put her personal and political feelings aside, but she’s not going to do that.”
You can watch Kennedy try to blame Pelosi for McConnell prioritizing a Supreme Court confirmation over suffering Americans below, from the October 21, 2020 Your World.
CORRECTION: This post originally stated that this interview aired October 22. That was an editing error, not the author's.
Here’s the actual timeline:
May – Pelosi and the House pass the HEROES Act, looking ahead to make sure that there is stimulus for testing, tracing, small businesses and the unemployed for the rest of the year, as well as assistance for all the states, since they’ve been strapped as a result of the pandemic. McConnell, Kennedy and the Senate Republicans openly sneer at this and refuse to take any action, noting “we’ll pause” rather than do anything further. Angry Right Wingers are at that time frantically hoping the pandemic will disappear by July, when the existing stimulus will expire.
June – the GOP ignores the HEROES Act and McConnell sends the Senate on summer vacation for most of July, only returning at the exact moment that the stimulus has effectively expired.
July – As soon as we pass July 4 and Senate GOP have refused to do anything, the stimulus is set to expire. When the Senate reconvenes in late July, GOP members refuse to back anything other than a tiny amount of business assistance and a blanket liability waiver for businesses. McConnell retreats to his office and hides in terror rather than engage in negotiations with Pelosi to work any stimulus out. Instead, the Pence White House sends Mnuchin and Mark Meadows to stonewall. Meadows repeatedly threatens to walk out and have Pence issue some Executive Orders. The stimulus expires.
August – Meadows responds to Pelosi’s offer to lower the size of her stimulus proposal by stomping out and telling Pence to issue Executive Orders. Pence’s childish spokesman immediately has a press conference announcing them – except that they do almost nothing. One memo actually jeopardizes Social Security funding while setting up current employees for a massive tax hit in 2021, and another sets up a raid on FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to throw a few dollars to the unemployed. Both parties spend the rest of the month working on their conventions.
September – Congress doesn’t return until after Labor Day – much of the month is taken up with discussion of funding the government. McConnell makes a public display of presenting an insulting “skinny” proposal that would not do anything other than some small business assistance and that blanket liability waiver. McConnell attempts to play this as somehow a genuine effort – it goes nowhere. All sides note that we are now too close to Election Day to reasonably expect anything to be accomplished.
October – Pelosi and the House pass a reduced stimulus bill. McConnell again retreats from it in terror. Pelosi attempts once again to negotiate with Mnuchin to get something done before Election Day. Pence’s childish spokesman, in the midst of a steroid rage while being treated for his COVID infection, angrily calls off the negotiations. And then suddenly begs for them to be restarted. McConnell responds by refusing to talk about it and instead putting the insulting “skinny” proposal back up to be rejected again. All sides agree that nothing will be accomplished until after the election (and frankly that nothing will be accomplished until 2021).
If you look at this timeline, you’ll see that any real possibility of further stimulus was killed back in June when McConnell, Kennedy and the GOP refused to engage. Their entire point was to not get anything done. And McConnell has been noted as wanting to now play himself as anti-spending, so that if Biden prevails, he can be consistent about opposing it in 2021.