One of the more appalling moments in the recent history of the House of Representatives occurred recently in the Capitol Visitor Center. Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her weekly news conference and said she had changed her position on the issue of passing a coronavirus relief bill. For months, as millions suffered the economic devastation associated with the pandemic, Pelosi stonewalled the Trump administration’s efforts to pass targeted, short-term relief for those in need. Now, as if by magic, she’s all for it.
What happened? A new president has been elected, Pelosi explained, and coronavirus vaccines are nearing public distribution. “A total game-changer — a new president and a vaccine,” she declared. The kind of short-term relief that she blocked for months is now acceptable. “It’s for a shorter period of time, but that’s OK now,” Pelosi said, “because we have a new president.”