Democrat Congressman defends pork-stuffed COVID-19 wish list: “plenty of common sense”

TRENTON, N.J. – Stubborn? Arrogant? Shameless? A little of all three?

New Jersey House Democrats backed a Wuhan Coronavirus legislative pork spending spree this week, one which has very little to do with actually combating the pandemic and which also threw trading markets into a fresh panic over whether an economic stimulus package could make it off of Capitol Hill.

The list of Democrat demands stunned even some members of their own party. The items below represent a PARTIAL list:

        • Only corporations providing racial pay/board stats would be eligible for assistance
        • Requiring 1/3 of board members of corporations receiving assistance be elected by workers
        • An early voting mandate
        • A same day voter registration mandate
        • An airline emissions “full offset by 2025” mandate
        • Requiring greenhouse gas statistics for all individual commercial flights
        • Mandating retirement plans for employees of community newspapers
        • A $15 minimum wage mandate AND paid leave mandate (permanently!) for all corporations accepting aid
        • $236 million to help the IRS (?) combat coronavirus
        • $35 million for the JFK Performing Arts Center in D.C.
        • $100 million for NASA
        • $33.2 million for NOAA
        • $90 million for HIV programs
        • $7 million to a single D.C. charter school
        • $23 million to Howard University in D.C.
        • $300 million for migration/assistance programs

One New Jersey freshman – Tom Malinowski (D, NJ-07) – insisted there was nothing all-too-wrong with his parties’ demands.

“I think there is plenty of common sense common ground and everyone knows we need to do a big bill fast,” said Malinowski on Twitter., sharing a partial list of the House bill’s provisions. “But it’s worth taking a day or two to get a $2 trillion bill right.”s

A day or two longer could be a dangerous gamble. Layoffs are all over the news; a new NFIB survey released Monday found 76% of small businesses reporting negative impacts and 53% says they’ve already sought out help from a bank/lender or are planning to do so.

Meanwhile, Republicans took to television, radio, and social media to blast Democrats’ mixed up priorities.

“The people of New Jersey are counting on their Congressional Delegation right now more than ever,” said NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt on Monday evening. “We are watching Congressional members Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, Tom Malinowski, and Josh Gottheimer wilt under the gavel of Nancy Pelosi and truly reveal how deprioritized public service is to this group of politicians. Our family members and neighbors are sheltered in their homes, businesses are shuttered in our downtowns, our hospitals are starting to become overwhelmed and people are dying. We need our Democrat Congressional delegation to do their jobs. Stop playing Pelosi politics with people’s lives.”

Some Republicans at the state level are calling for additional help from Trenton for the business community. Brian Bergen, a freshman Assemblyman from the 25th Legislative District, wants to permit businesses to retain their first quarter sales tax payments and reduce interest rates on pre-existing business loans among other proposed relief items.

“We need to do everything in our power to make sure New Jerseyans remain whole. It is our duty,” said Bergen. “This is a time for action not talk. Our legislature has the power to provide relief and we should be doing so immediately, with an emergency session if necessary.”