- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer blasted Republicans for not mentioning COVID-19 relief negotiations when the Senate gaveled into session Wednesday, accusing them of being too divided within their own party on the crisis.

As people are about to lose unemployment benefits at the end of the month, and potentially face eviction, Mr. Schumer said Republicans were mum on the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Democrat pointed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s choice to open floor speeches Wednesday morning by discussing the far-left’s attempts to defund police and troops, as well as the progressive’s cancel culture hostility, saying it is “fodder for the far right.”

“The Republican Party is so disorganized, chaotic and unprepared that they can barely cobble together a partisan bill in their own caucus. Indicative was Leader McConnell’s speech. He rants and raves about … cancel culture — not a word about COVID-19,” Mr. Schumer said.

Democrats have been frustrated that they are not part of Senate Republicans’ negotiations on the next coronavirus relief bill.

Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors to put together a roughly $1 trillion package with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Some members of the GOP caucus have expressed frustration over the amount of spending and whether there will be bailout funds for blue states like New York, Illinois and New Jersey.

As the debate over what will all be included in the next bill is happening in GOP-only meetings, the Senate floor is open for debate on the National Defense Authorization Act — which Mr. McConnell discussed during his remarks.

He pointed out hypocrisy among Democrats, who claim the Trump administration is weak against adversaries but then propose amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that would reduce the Pentagon budget by 10%. That amendment, sponsored by Vermont’s democratic-socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, is up for a vote Wednesday afternoon.

“This turns out to be something of a pattern. On the Democratic side, it sometimes seems like we have hawks when it comes to speeches but chickens when it’s time to make policy,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Lots of bark; little bite. All hat; no cattle.”

He went on to comment on the weeks of unrest across the nation over racism and policing, where the country has witnessed riots in major cities.

Progressives have also been calling to defund the police. Mr. McConnell said they’ve shut down free speech and expression — two bedrock principles of a free country.

“The radical energy on the far left is sparking some truly extraordinary behavior,” Mr. McConnell said on the chamber floor. “We have moved on from defending the local police to defunding the United States armed forces. Maybe we will be sending social workers on overseas deployments when they aren’t too busy responding to violent crimes,” he mocked.

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