NY Times Lets Schumer Dictate Stimulus Coverage; GOP 'Seized on' Spoiler Pelosi

March 27th, 2020 8:48 PM

New York Times congressional reporters Carl Hulse and Emily Cochrane gave the “tick-tock” on the Senate passage of a coronavirus stimulus package – as told by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer: “Passing the Stimulus: Nonstarter at A.M. To 96-0 at Midnight -- How the polarized Senate found a way to negotiate a plan to help an ailing nation.”

Schumer guided the story, with Hulse as usual happy to be pulled along by Democratic talking points. There was no mention of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sabotaging the crisis package by attempting to shoehorn in airline emission regulations and other Green New Deal items (click "expand"):

As Senator Chuck Schumer walked the two miles from his apartment to the Capitol early Sunday morning, getting his steps in since the Senate gym had been shut down to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, he knew he and his fellow Democrats had a momentous decision to make.

After 48 hours of intense bipartisan negotiations over a huge economic stabilization plan to respond to the pandemic, Republicans were insisting on a vote later that day to advance the package. Mr. Schumer, the Democratic leader, suspected Republicans would present Democrats with an unacceptable, take-it-or-leave it proposition and then dare them to stand in the way of a nearly $2 trillion measure everyone knew was desperately needed. As soon as he arrived at the Capitol, the choice was clear: Democrats would have to leave it.

The Times pictured everything from Schumer’s partisan prism, yet presented as an objective view:

What was worse, the corporate aid came with little accountability over dollars to be doled out unsupervised by the Treasury Department -- a red flag to Democrats after the 2008 Wall Street bailout, and one that would be particularly hard to accept given President Trump’s disdain for congressional oversight.

Any chiding of Democratic dithering during the crisis was indirect:

It was a shocking and politically perilous decision in the middle of a paralyzing national crisis, a moment when lawmakers are traditionally expected to put aside differences for the good of the country, or face a political backlash.

Even when the reporters relayed Republican points, their petulance is palpable (the GOP were outraged and twice “seized” on Democratic overreach):

Republicans seized on Ms. Pelosi’s entry into the talks, claiming that the speaker had forced Democrats to abandon a compromise they had helped write.


Republicans were further outraged when they saw the draft House bill, a $2.5 trillion measure that included an array of progressive policies well beyond the scope of emergency aid, saying Democrats were trying to use the crisis to advance a liberal agenda. They seized on a comment by Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 House Democrat, who said on a private conference call with Democrats that the pandemic presented “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to our vision” -- a comment Mr. McConnell brought up repeatedly.

Hulse and Cochrane didn’t drill down into Pelosi’s leftist wish list, as the Washington Times did.