The COVID stimulus relief bill passed the Senate today, with every Democrat voting for it, and not a single Republican voting for it. There were some minor changes along the way, but in the end, the original $1.9 trillion total remained intact.
Yes, raising the minimum wage will have to wait until later, but there will be ways to make that happen that are far more nuanced than merely yelling around about the filibuster. And yes, this COVID bill now has to go back to the House for another vote so that the minor changes can be approved, but that’s a formality. So is President Biden’s signature. This a done deal. It’ll be law within a few days, and hundreds of millions of struggling Americans will see immediate relief.
There’s always a tendency to whine and complain because you didn’t get 100% of what we were trying to get. But the reality is that we won, and we helped a whole lot of Americans in the process. Yes, there are those will lament that we didn’t get 100% of what we wanted, even though our party is in the majority.
But the factual reality is that even when Trump and the Republicans were in the majority, they only managed to pull off a fraction of their desired agenda. They didn’t get to kill Obamacare. They didn’t get their wall. They didn’t get to kick out nearly as many immigrants as they aimed to, or curtail civil rights nearly as severely as they wanted to.
Having a majority is not the same thing as having a magic wand, whether you’re the good guys or the bad guys. Being the majority means you get to make a fraction of your agenda happen, and you just have to work hard to make sure it’s a large fraction and not a small one. Being the minority means you get to make precisely none of your agenda happen, which is where we’d be right now if Stacey Abrams hadn’t led us to victory in the Georgia runoffs.
So let’s take this for the big win that it is, and keep fighting for even more of our agenda. The minute you succumb to whining and lamenting, it means you’ve taken your eye off the ball, and it means you’re not going to win any more battles going forward. We did it. We got our $1.9 trillion relief package. We’re going to have a whole lot more wins going forward, if we focus on winning and not whining.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report