Exclusive — Ken Buck: Americans Are ‘Victims’ of Nancy Pelosi’s Coronavirus Aid ‘Extortion’
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) told Breitbart News during an exclusive interview on Wednesday that the American people are the “victims” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “extortion” of coronavirus aid.
Buck spoke to Breitbart News as Pelosi continues to hold up coronavirus aid to the American people and small businesses suffering from the effects of the pandemic. The speaker’s hardline tactics and unwillingness to negotiate with President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans has led to many coronavirus aid programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to languish. Pelosi’s refusal to find a middle ground with the president has led to many rank-and-file Democrats revolting against the House leader.
Buck told Breitbart News that he applauds the president for refusing to give in to Pelosi’s brinksmanship-style negotiations, which he said would lead to leftist carveouts, such as a bailout of California’s pension system.
“I think the strategy is to try to portray the president as unable to lead during this difficult time and get things through Congress, and that is unfortunate because the people who are suffering because the workers and the small business people and the folks are going to have a very difficult time coming back from this,” the Colorado conservative told Breitbart News. “But I applaud the White House on not caving that Nancy Pelosi is making. I think Speaker Pelosi would love to have the California pension system paid off and all kinds of other things. It is just extortion, and, unfortunately, the victims are the American people.”
Pelosi has tried to get another round of coronavirus aid along the lines of her $3 trillion, 1,815-page HEROES Act that contains numerous leftist carveouts, including bailouts of state and local governments, mandatory early voting and mail-in ballots, and elimination of the limitations on the deductions for state and local taxes (SALT). The SALT deduction primarily benefits wealthy, mainly Democrat states.
Buck said that America cannot continue spending itself further into debt and that the country must reopen if it wants to revitalize the country’s economy.
“I think the key is to recognize that we are $30 trillion in debt right now, and we can’t keep going in this direction, and we have to be responsible with how we spend federal dollars. Speaker Pelosi has no desire to be responsible, and I’m not just talking about her freezer of ice cream or her haircuts; she is just unable to stop the spending, and she will bleed this country dry if we don’t draw the line somewhere,” he said.
“I think the American public recognizes that,” Buck added.
Buck mentioned that other countries had success by reopening their countries with limited spikes in coronavirus cases. Sweden chose to impose lockdowns and focus on personal responsibility as well as protecting its most vulnerable citizens. The Scandanavian country kept its schools, businesses, and restaurants open.
“When you look at foreign countries and the success they’ve had with their economies being opened and people acting responsibly, you can talk about masks, and you can talk about social distancing. You can talk about a lot of things, but what we can’t afford is to keep our economy locked down, and one reason we can’t afford is the social pathologies rise as we keep people isolated,” Buck said.
“We’re seeing a lot more crime. We’re seeing a lot more deviant behavior, drug use, domestic violence, and child abuse,” Buck said.
“It’s really important that we get back to normal, and this is a disease that we can protect vulnerable populations because of age or medical issues, but we’ve got to make sure that our economy is running, or we’re not going to have the resources to deal with it in the future,” Buck added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.