Cookout: Nets Cover-Up Wasteful Pork Spending in COVID Relief Bill

News & Politics

With the broadcast networks refusing to critically analyze President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, they were intentionally refusing to tell their viewers about all the wasteful pork-barrel spending Democrats stuffed into it. But while the liberal media were helping the left with their cookout, Wednesday’s edition of the Fox News Channel’s Special Report was giving their viewers the truth about what was in the bill before they passed it.

One of the biggest developments with the bill was the restructuring of who would be eligible to receive the next round of stimulus checks. In the effort to get Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on board, Democrats opted to leave out more well-off people from receiving the money.

Of course, ABC’s Mary Bruce griped about it on World News Tonight. “These $1,400 payments would now go only to Americans who make less than $8,000 a year or households earning less than $160,000 a year,” she said. “It is a major concession from the President to get the support of these key moderate Democrats he needs to get his COVID relief bill passed.

On top of defending and pushing Biden’s bill, the evening newscasts had largely failed to accurately explain why Republicans were against it. They would offer up meager lines about the right objecting to the price tag but wouldn’t go into any detail.

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NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander came the closest to reality on NBC Nightly News: “Still, Republicans argue most of the $1.9 trillion bill does not address the pandemic itself.” He said that as a huff against them not being happy enough with the restructured relief check payments.

But while the networks were acting that way, Fox News congressional correspondent Jacqui Heinrich gave viewers a breakdown of a lot of the wasteful spending:

Senate Republicans, plan to draw out the marathon voting session with amendment after amendment targeting items they deem unrelated to coronavirus. 180 million to change the definition of an at-risk child for emergency meal reimbursement to include people up to 24 years old. Billions to advance portions of President Biden’s executive orders on climate change. A new executive branch employee emergency leave program allowing nearly seven times the current leave, with no requirement it’s COVID-related. And 350 billion for state and local governments.

Heinrich also called out the lucrative pet projects of Democratic leaders. “Democrats already have had to drop to infrastructure projects, a subway extension in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home state of California and money for a bridge in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s home state of New York. President Biden’s proposal argued transit was hit hard by the pandemic,” she reported.

Both of those projects came and went without a single word from the evening newscasts.

Further in the report, Heinrich seemed to quip about how the Democrats were still having issues ginning up support:

HEINRICH: With two of the most ridiculed items gone, Democrats hoped for smoother sailing. Not so.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Only nine percent of this $1.9 trillion is related to health care.

SENATOR STEVE DAINES (R-MT): The prior five packages all had the high protections. [Transition] There’s $400 billion in this current package that can be used to fund abortions with taxpayer dollars.

Another key point that kept Republicans from supporting the latest round of relief was the fact there were still billions of dollars left unspent from the last one. And, of course, that also went unreported by the evening newscasts.

The networks’ blackout on what Democrats hid in the coronavirus relief bill was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Consumer Cellular on ABC, Ford Motor Company on CBS, and Liberty Mutual on NBC.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
March 3, 2021
6:10:28: p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have agreed to tighten the upper-income limits at which people could qualifying for stimulus checks in the party’s coronavirus relief bill. A concession to moderates. And word tonight is that Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia has warmed to the newly structured bill. Republicans, however, remain vehemently opposed saying more than 90 percent of the package is unrelated to the pandemic. Congressional correspondent Jacqui Heinrich has the latest from capitol hill.

[Cuts to video]

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): This package is Just so full of pork it smells like bacon.

JACQUI HEINRICH: Senate Republicans, plan to draw out the marathon voting session with amendment after amendment targeting items they deem unrelated to coronavirus. 180 million to change the definition of an at-risk child for emergency meal reimbursement to include people up to 24 years old. Billions to advance portions of President Biden’s executive orders on climate change. A new executive branch employee emergency leave program allowing nearly seven times the current leave, with no requirement it’s COVID-related. And 350 billion for state and local governments.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): A lot of these states are seeing a significant increasing in what their budgets are going to be this next year.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): So, just because the numbers are not as bad as they were, doesn’t mean we don’t need a continued a strong push to get us out of this ditch.

HEINRICH: Democrats already have had to drop to infrastructure projects, a subway extension in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home state of California and money for a bridge in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s home state of New York. President Biden’s proposal argued transit was hit hard by the pandemic.

But the Senate parliamentarian ruled against the subway for procedural reasons and Democrats abandoned the bridge after Republican pushed back saying, it was actually the Trump administration’s prior request. With two of the most ridiculed items gone, Democrats hoped for smoother sailing. Not so.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Only nine percent of this $1.9 trillion is related to health care.

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): The prior five packages all had the high protections. [Transition] There’s $400 billion in this current package that can be used to fund abortions with taxpayer dollars.

HEINRICH: But Democrats confident the bill will pass, believing the polls and optics are in their favor with Republican standing between Americans in their checks.

SCHUMER: When people want checks to help them get out of the morass, that’s not a liberal wish list. That’s what the American people want.

[Cuts back to live]

HEINRICH: Full Democratic support is more likely tonight after President Biden signed off on tighter eligibility for stimulus checks, partly to get Senator Joe Manchin on board, and the minimum wage hike that he opposed was already stripped off of that bill. Bret.

BAIER: Jacqui Heinrich live on Capitol Hill. Jacqui, thanks.

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